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Healthy at Home:

A Toolkit for Supporting Families Impacted by COVID-19

In order to serve educators and families during the COVID-19 crisis, ReadyRosie developed this free toolkit as a resource to support families with information and resources for supporting the children in their care. The current content on this site will be available throughout the summer. We invite educators to explore ReadyRosie’s complete family engagement platform to help schools and programs partner with families throughout the summer and into the new school year. Learn more about ReadyRosie here.

How do I keep a healthy perspective and lower my own stress?

The most important thing is to limit what you are seeing and where you are seeing it. Go to factual websites so you can filter out misinformation. Keep up your self-care routines like exercising, sleeping, and eating as routinely as possible. Maintain communication with friends with technology. Finally, remember that "This too shall pass"!

How can I recognize signs of stress in my child and what can I do about it?

While a child under stress may not be able to describe it, we can see their stress through their behaviors. A happy-go lucky child may become very clingy. They may anxiously ask the same question more than once even though you give the same answer every time. They may have more difficulty with sleeping or eating. You can reduce your child's stress by pointing out all the things people are doing to help. Look for ways to empower your child to help in his or her own way.

What do I do if I am sick and have children at home?

The first thing you should do if you are sick is to follow medical advice to the best of your ability. This is the time to ask for help! Depending on your situation, reach out to family, friends, or a local organization. Explain to your children why you need to stay away and can't play with them right now. Reassure them that you look forward to playing with them when you are well again!

Is it okay to use screen time if I am sick or need to work?

These are unique times. It is okay if you need to give your child more screen time than they are used to so you can get some work done or get some rest. We can remember that this is not our normal routine. In the long-run, kids are going to want to engage with their family and friends more than engage with a screen.

How should I talk to my children about COVID-19?

Your children are looking to you as a model for how they should think, act, and feel right now. If you give a sense of calm and reassurance, they will feel calm and reassured. Be honest. Explain what's happening on their level. For example, regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), you can say, "It's a very new virus. Scientists and doctors are working very hard to keep people safe and healthy. We need to work hard to take good care of ourselves so that we can be safe and healthy." Be aware of the amount of information you and your child are receiving. Take care to get your information from a verified site like the Center for Disease Control.

How can boredom be a positive thing for my child?

Boredom is a really great thing for all of us! When we're bored, we ask, "What can I do?" For young children, this is an opportunity for them to independently explore. They learn to be curious and creative within their environment. This is wonderful for their brains and their bodies too! Ultimately, boredom is better for their development than being overscheduled.

How do routines help to create a more peaceful home?

Routines are important for children and also for adults. They help us feel safe, secure, and prepare us for what is coming next. When a crisis disrupts our routine, it is good to talk about how that makes us feel. We can think about when and how we will eventually get back to that routine. We can talk about when and how we will get to our routine. However, maybe we won't be able to get back to that same routine. If so, let's talk about a new routine that we can establish that will help everyone to feel better.

Emotion Meter Scale

We all feel emotions at different levels at different times. Help your child think about his or her emotions and what scenarios cause those emotions to intensify. This will help your child be prepared to manage emotions and problem solve. It also builds empathy and helps your family support one another during times of big feelings.

Talking About Your Feelings

Drawing a picture first can be a good way for a child to begin to identify and reflect on her feelings about a specific situation. Prompt your child to talk about those feelings by asking questions such as: I notice you look angry in that picture. Why were you angry? Can you tell me about it? How did that make you feel? What did you do when you felt that way? Did that make you feel better?