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  • Writer's pictureBeth Bowman

School is out? 3 Quick Tips for Parenting during the Coronavirus

Dear Parents of school aged Kiddos-

My heart goes out to you as you make quick plans, reassess work responsibilities and juggle childcare during these days of uncertainty. Here are some quick thoughts as you navigate through this unprecedented journey:

1. Talk to your kids and have an intentional conversation about the Coronavirus. Your kids-especially older preschool and grade school aged-have heard enough snippets about the virus from television, social media and discussions in the family. Sit down with them soon and share age appropriate information. Emphasize what everyone is doing to curb the pandemic and what personal habits they can conduct. Ask what concerns they have and answer their questions as honestly as you are able. Reassure them of your love, care and protection. Explain what measures your family is taking to prevent spread of the disease. For some children, they may need more than one conversation. Be open and caring-kids need a safe space to share their feelings and thoughts.

2. Use this time as the GIFT that it is! Most of us (me included) have become far too busy with priorities other than family. Here are five things you can do with your kids this week:

*Find your mom's chocolate chip cake recipe and make it with your kids. If it doesn't involve toilet paper or hand sanitizer, I'll be you can find the ingredients at the store.

*Read that book to your kids that has been on your "to do list" for a year. (This may be a great time for chapter books)

*Get out those board games. CandyLand, Monopoly, Clue (but not UNO. This crisis will be over before you finish that game)

*Watch old family videos. Kids love to see and hear their stories.

*Stop and learn how to play your kids video games. Get smack dab in their world and hang out. Be sure to beat them at least once, or twice if your child is in middle school.

3. Lastly, do not forget others. Use this time to serve TOGETHER.

*Make some calls to relatives you haven't seen in a while-or even a FaceTime call. They will love seeing and talking with your kids!

*Check on your elderly neighbors and lead your kids to take their trash can to the road or another outside task.

*Get out the craft materials and let your kids make homemade cards for a teacher, friend, or your pastor. Or how about thank you cards for public servants such as the mayor of your town or the police? (Sanitized hands please)

Let me know your thoughts and what you are doing that works. Your encouragement could be the secret sauce for another at home parent. We can get through this together.

Lastly, as a Christian, here's one of my fav Bible passages when I get a little Corona-Crazy..

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

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