Back to school & sports: 6 tips to prepare kids for social distancing

tips for social distancingFor parents, the return of the academic school year is sure to cause some concern. The world is still in the midst of battling the COVID-19 crisis, and it shows no signs of slowing down or stopping. Therefore, this side of effective treatment and/or a vaccine, we are going to have to get used to social distancing rules and taking extra care in our day-to-day lives. It’s not easy to get right, but we highly recommend that if you are worried about your children returning to school that you try and use the following tips and tricks.

  1. Talk to them about the situation

The first thing to avoid doing is trying to hide your children from the reality of this situation. The COVID-19 crisis is going to shape a significant part of their childhoods, so trying to shield them from the drama will likely prove impossible. If you would like to make sure that you have the best chance possible to give your children the help they need to handle COVID-19, then be open and clear with them about the risks.

You need to tell them that for the foreseeable future things are going to change, but they need to be strong. Fear leads to mistakes, so ensure they are prepared as opposed to scared. The more that you can do to keep them informed, the better they are going to handle the lifestyle changes that are impacting on them on a daily basis.

  1. Try to keep a home lifestyle

However, just because things are different outside of your home does not mean that home life has to change. So long as you are all taking precautions, you can then enjoy some time at home together without any particular fear. This can give you a chance to utilise a social distancing experience outside of the home, but also enjoy life at home.

There is no reason why you need to drastically how you change when at home with your children and your household family members. If you have guests over then you should take some extra precautions, of course, but you should not look to make life at home too different for your child.

Life everywhere else is going to change, so having home as some kind of shrine of normality should go a long way to helping your children cope better.

  1. Lead by example

Instead of simply telling your children to wash their hands regularly and to wear masks as well as keep their distance, lead by example. When taking them to school, make sure to visibly wash your hands in front of them. Have them do the same. Make sure you do the same when you both return home from school or any kind of outdoor activity.

The more that you can do to show the kids that they need to take this seriously, the more likely they are to follow your lead. Lead by example, though; children are often much better at learning when you show them what they need to do as opposed to just telling them. So, keep that in mind and you should have a much greater chance of making sure that you get a positive experience.

Leading by example is the best way to help keep your children learning and coping.

  1. Show them how to distance

Another good example to give to your children is what an actually social distanced experience will look like. For a few nights before they go back to school, spend some time separated as they are going to be in the classroom. If possible, speak with their school staff and find out what the plans are so that you can start readying your child for those plans.

If you take a bit of time to help prepare them when you are both at home, then you are going to be much more likely to get a positive response from your child. Preparing your child for social distancing is going to be important and showing them what to expect means that the classroom is less likely to be such a big shock to them when they return to school.

  1. Get them exercising at home

However, one thing that we do wish to raise is that many children are going to be seeing minimal physical education at school. Social distancing means that most forms of sport, especially contact sport, will be ended for a period of time. This means that when your children come home you should be looking to give them some help to stay fit.

Get a soccer ball and/or a basketball hoop, and at the very least you have something that you can both do together for an hour or two each night. Something that should not fall by the wayside during the pandemic is the health and the fitness of your children. Now, you can make sure that they don’t need to see their fitness levels fall through the floor.

Mental health is sure to be impacted during COVID-19, so make sure their physical health can stay robust.

  1. Always be honest

When your child asks you about the situation with COVID-19, though, don’t lie to them. The best way to prepare your child for social distancing and applying the rules is to be clear to them what kind of issues arise from COVID-19. This is sure to make them much more likely to adhere to laws and rules, and ensures that they are also aware of the situation.

Alright, you don’t want to scare your child; but you can’t insulate them from the truth forever. Schools are being quite open about COVID, so you can’t have your child hearing one story from you and another from their teachers. Instead, build trust by being totally honest with them about the potential risks that might exist.

The more truthful you can be, the more likely it is that your child will feel comfortable committing to the social distancing requirements asked of them.

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