Check out our new favorite source of content that fosters kids’ emotional and mental health, especially during quarantine!
Raising a 5 year old and a 3 year old on any normal day is a challenge. Raising them in a global pandemic is something else entirely. I know you’ve felt it too, whether or not you have kids — the lack of social interaction and the sudden falling away of so many friends and family really takes a toll on a person (whether you’re 3 or 73).
Over the last few months of quarantine due to COVID-19, I have felt deeply grateful as a mom to all of the incredible content that has been shared virtually, to help me help my kids. We’ve done art, we’ve done yoga, we’ve gone to school, all while at home. And I recently learned about some new content from one of our favorites, Sesame Workshop!
AT&T* teamed up with Sesame Workshop to provide free content as part of their Caring for Each Other initiative, specifically designed to help parents provide comfort, manage anxiety and ensure that their children stay socially connected – even when they’re physically apart from friends and family members. AT&T has helped fund this incredible project which is such an awesome source of support for parents raising kids during these uncertain time
WHEN KIDS MISS FRIENDS & FAMILY
Caring for Each Other has an incredible amount of helpful videos, articles, and exercises for families. Each content bundle contains an article for parents with research-based strategies, a short video to watch together, and an activity for kids. The ones that I find particularly helpful (and that my kiddos are really responding to) are the ones about Missing Friends.
We’ve been using some of the ideas with Henry and Maggie, and I swear — I can see their faces light up when we learn a new way to connect with friends who they have been missing so much. Simple, creative ideas (like drawing a picture and sending it via snail mail, or taking turns writing a story on a shared Google doc) have them so very excited to reach out to more friends.
Today, we wrote a letter to grandparents and sent some stickers to a friend. We also planned a video chat snack date with another family. And I can tell that the kids are uplifted by these simple acts of connection and outreach.
Seeing Friends In Real Life
Another aspect of our new reality is that our kids sometimes have a hard time understanding the whole “socially distant” thing. I mean, you put two 5 year olds near each other who haven’t been together for months, and they’re going to want to hug and high five and probably hug some more.
In the Missing Friends section, we found a ton of suggestions to help kids greet each other at a distance, and tips for helping kids understand why and how to give each other space. Henry and Maggie particularly latched onto the “heart hands hello,” and a couple of the other ideas as well.
As a mom, when you’re weary and raw from months of trying to help your kids navigate such a strange time, having content like this to draw on is like a dream. As we consider widening our social circle, we plan to teach our kids lots of these techniques in an effort to both stay safe and foster their emotional health.
Other Ways to Support Kids’ Emotional Health
There’s so much more in Caring for Each Other, thanks to AT&T and Sesame Workshop. I think that the section on Separation Anxiety will be pretty key for us when schools open again. It would also be great if you are heading back to work and your kiddos are worried about you going! There’s a great video with Elmo and his Dad that our kids loved.
Other sections cover challenges like the do’s and don’ts for face coverings (sometimes so hard with little ones!), illness of a family member, financial insecurity, and how to transition to this “for-now normal.” And I love that it’s all of the kids’ favorite Sesame Street faces, sharing the info in a way that they can grasp.
How aRe Your Kids Doing?
I’d love to know how your kids are doing with this “for-now normal.” How have you been staying connected to the friends and family that they miss?
We recently had one of our first in-person, socially-distant playdates and while my kids loved seeing friends, they were sometimes frustrated at all of the parameters that we needed to follow. (And I totally understand!) Have you been seeing friends in person yet? What is that experience like for you?
Be sure to check out the Caring for Each Other content for lots of ideas on how to help support your kiddos! xoxo
*This post is sponsored by AT&T. All ideas and opinions are my very own. Thank you for being supportive of the partners who help keep Lovely Indeed going!