While for adults, it might be easy to understand why we decided to temporarily close Meadow Montessori School until the State recently re-opened, it’s not so easy for children to make sense of it. One day they were in school — learning and playing with their classmates. The next day they were home, where in many cases they’ve just had their mom, dad, or guardian watching them; who were most likely trying to juggle working from home and helping their children keep up with their school work.
For everyone, that’s been the new normal since early March. Children see people with masks every day, their playgrounds closed down, and fewer people outside. Kids don’t have the experience or capacity to make complete sense of the new world around them yet, so they rely on their parents to help them understand.
What You Can Do To Help Your Children Understand
This is the perfect opportunity to really drive the point home that regularly washing their hands is key to keeping themselves and the people around them healthy. It’s challenging for many children to get this point across because they can’t “see” the germs. However, making a game or a song out of washing their hands helps them get into the daily routine of washing their hands. Use it as a learning experience by reciting the alphabet or counting to 30. Making washing before meals, after they go potty, and when they come in from outside a part of their routine is a great way to teach them a good habit.
Another example we can use this time for is teaching them the importance of personal space. An excellent way to show them is by using carpet squares that show them where they are allowed to do their work.
Also, using hula hoops and tying two ribbons that are used to place over your child’s shoulder, will show them how not to drift into other people’s space.
Why Are People Wearing Masks?
As adults, sometimes it isn’t easy to put ourselves in our kids’ shoes. But, imagine this for a second: as a kid, your entire life the term “masks” have always been part of a silly costume, but now everybody is wearing them, and it’s no longer a joke. That can make them question, “what’s going on?” It’s best to be upfront, let them know to focus on keeping the germs away and staying healthy. They will see their friends and teachers again!
The Current Times Causing Anxiety
Children can suffer from anxiety, just like adults. They might become irritable, tired, or have trouble sleeping. In many cases, they might throw a sudden tantrum if they don’t get their way. A neat exercise to help them overcome anxiety is to pretend you’re blowing up a giant balloon that requires deep breaths, holding it for five seconds, and then slowly exhaling. Make silly noises and encourage them to do it as well to help engage them.
What does this do? Deep breaths help alleviate stress by increasing the supply of oxygen to the brain while simultaneously deescalating the situation. It also gives them a positive way to work through their frustrations.
Returning to Work & School
As the State slowly reopens to all students, we want to let our parents know we are taking every precaution to ensure the safety of your children as well as our teachers and staff. We are living in a time that we’ll all remember regardless of age. Being upfront with your children, letting them know that what’s happening today is temporary, and allow them to ask questions will lead to the best outcomes. Reassuring them that people wearing masks, washing their hands more often, and standing farther apart is helping keep everybody safe.
Parents, try your best to be patient with your children. They are a curious and inquisitive bunch, and they need all of us to help through this. We look forward to welcoming back our students and getting back to our daily routine.
If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call at 281-232-4444