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8 Things We Should Be Teaching Kids During this Pandemic

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As we muddle through the uncharted territory this virus has brought into our lives, parents have been faced with the additional stress of trying to homeschool their children. These unforeseen circumstances have many educators and parents concerned about children falling behind in their education, especially when some schools are considering leaving kids back a grade or having them attend summer school.

“I think there needs to be a definitive shift on the focus of kid's education during this pandemic,” says Peggy Sideratos, former teacher and author of “The Light Giver and Other Stories to Raise Emotionally Healthy Children,” and “The Light Giver Stories Workbook.” Sideratos goes on to say: “Parents should try to help their children navigate their way through the new virtual way of learning, but shouldn't be too harsh on children or themselves if they aren't making their typical progress. It's not realistic to think that their academic learning will be unaffected. Rather than focus on the lapses however, we should be focusing our time and attention by preparing kids with necessary life skills and competencies, including ways to develop their emotional health and wellbeing.”

She asserts that there are 8 invaluable lessons parents should be addressing with their children during this time of quarantine:

1) Preparedness & Organization Skills – There are several ways that these skills can be taught to children. Young children can help reorganize their toys, closets or the pantry. Older children can be given bigger responsibilities. Right now, many of us are taking inventory of the groceries at home, making lists to either purchase or order the groceries we need. A great deal of care must be taken to ensure that if someone does head out, that the shopping list is extensive to save members from extra shopping trips and further exposure. Many families are placing orders on-line and sadly, many of those orders take weeks to be delivered. It requires a great deal of foresight and planning to ensure a family has everything it needs. Allow some of the older children to take part in this routine.

2) The Ins & Outs of Running a Household – This time at home is a great opportunity to teach kids how to do laundry, cook some basic meals, or learn to dust and vacuum.

3) Budgeting Skills – Most families may need to adjust their budgetary needs right now. While it's not necessary to worry young children about the financial stresses, older children can be taught some basic skills on income and expenses.

4) Reviewing the Difference Between Wants & Needs – This is a great time to reflect on and reinforce the difference between things people actually need for survival versus some of the luxuries we are accustomed to having.  

5) Appreciation – Help children to recognize the blessings that they do have and that may often be taken for granted like, good health, a place to sleep, the beauty of nature, the love of family and friends, and having community members who serve others during this crisis.

6) Community Outreach – This pandemic has shown us just how connected we are to our community and the world at large. It gives parents a great opportunity to model to their kids how they can help others even during the worst of times. Simple gestures like helping a neighbor, checking in on the elderly or finding ways to thank those in the community who are serving us can reinforce the values of serving the community.

7) Crisis & Stress Management – Kids learn more by what they see modeled for them than by what they hear. Show children the ways you choose to handle stress and comfort yourself whether it's yoga, meditation, prayer, talking with loved ones, exercise or any other activity that helps you relax and de-stress.

8) Processing & Expressing Their Concerns and Fears – This may be the most important lesson of them all. In order for children to thrive, they need to learn how to recognize and express their emotions and learn to manage them in a healthy way. Studies have shown that children with better emotional health not only have greater academic achievement but are more successful in their careers and personal life.  Allow kids the opportunity to talk freely about how they are feeling without rushing to squelch their emotions and concerns. Ask them what they believe could make them feel better and give them some time to formulate a response. Then, provide them with the guidance, comfort and reassurance they need.
 
Sideratos also adds that parents should use this time to read to children because of  numerous extraordinary benefits it gives them. In an effort to support parents at this time she is giving away two FREE stories and lessons from her books “The Light Giver and Other Stories to Raise Emotionally Healthy Children,” and  “The Light Giver Stories Workbook,” at her website, www.thelightgiverstories.com.

Contact
Peggy D Sideratos
peggy@thelightgiverstories.com
 

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