As we ready to welcome your artist-scholars this fall, we recognize these past weeks have impacted routines, structures, and the work-life-play balance.
You may be running low on ideas or energy with which to engage your child over these next few months; as well, helping kids understand what’s happening ‘out there’ poses an ongoing challenge.
WSA has been virtually engaging the experts through reading, thinking, and Zooming about how to help our kids during these changing times. Discover these key strategies to soothe, problem-solve, and bolster confidence in the days to come.
Routine is Key
In the absence of official school or day-care days structured by lesson time, snack time–and best of all, nap time, children get lost in the open-ended nature of their new world. Even if you’ve put certain time slots in place, it can be helpful to refresh this schedule, especially this summer, to mimic camp, summer projects, or organized recreational activities.
Young children respond well to structure and predictability in their daily lives. By sticking to a schedule i.e. balancing tasks with designated play time, young children especially will feel a sense of constancy during these constantly changing times.
Are you a hardcopy, calendar-on-the-wall type of parent? Scheduling tasks in bright pen or color-coding activities will serve as a visual reminder of what’s on, and what’s to come. Printing out a daily or weekly agenda, even taping it to your child’s door, can help organize and maximize waking hours.
By creating a regular routine, you’re also creating transitions—something your young learner absolutely craves. Knowing what’s coming next reassures young minds, helping them better focus on what’s happening now.
Old School Ways to Thrive
Staying active always has its benefits, but physical activity is crucial during the uncertainty. A walk, hike, or bike ride works wonders for mind and body, and spirit. Exercise of any kind provides a break, some circulation, and increases sense of well-being.
Relatedly, engaging with the world offscreen—through real-time activities—builds interpersonal connection. “I’ve been asking parents to think about their favorite activities at summer camp or at home before screens,” says David Anderson, PhD, a clinical psychologist with the Child Mind Institute.
Though so much has gone virtual, your family time has not. Remember how you filled your time as a kid? Share this with your child. Try quality time through hands-on activities like baking, playing dominos, or putting together a 1000-piece puzzle—that should fill a few weeks!
As well as can be expected
Have you ever heard that response when asking after someone? “I’m well as can be expected,” they reply. You understand.
Given the circumstances, we’re all doing the best we can. You’re making the best decisions you can with information at hand; you’re doing what you can to preserve a sense of normalcy. Remember that! And know that your kids are too.
With no roadmap for Pandemic Life, give yourself credit for continuing to find your way. There’ve been changes for all across all layers of life and even on a good day, adjustment takes time. So, allow yourself—and your kids—to take a break from ‘should’ and ‘would.’
“My daughter is watching Elmo’s World — and possibly drawing on the wall — as I write this. That shrill red Muppet is the only reason I’m able to write at all,” says Rae Jacobson of the Child Mind Institute.
Balance what you can, and let go when needed.
And know that WSA is here for questions, answers, and exchange of ideas. We welcome your thoughts and hope to see you around at upcoming events! Enjoy the WSA Inaugural Concert Series on YouTube, Sunday, May 17 at 6PM, and book your slot with WSA photographer Kym Turner for the Front Porch Project.
K-2 Open Enrollment continues at wilmingtonschoolofthearts.com/enrollment.