Often it's enough to just spend time together, talking, listening, and being close.

During this time of uncertainty amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, one way you can support your children is to take time to talk and check in with them. The many changes they’ve experienced, from being at home and being out of school to not being able to regularly see friends and hearing scary news reports, can weigh heavily on a child. Here are some ways you can connect with your children:

  1. Spending time together. As we are required to be at home much more than usual, take a breather from your laptop and take the opportunity to spend quality time with your child!  Do fun physical exercises together such as the #60second punches or the “See 10, do 10” challenge on social media. You can even create an obstacle course that you can all enjoy! Play hide and seek or board or video games, or simply spend the time coloring and allowing your mind to relax. For teens who have TikTok, collaborate with them by practicing and filming a TikTok dance challenge. Your cool points will definitely go up! This is the time to strengthen your bond and be together as a family.

  2. Talk to them. With COVID-19, the summer of 2020 is full of uncertainties that children may not understand. Ask your children how they feel or if they have questions. For younger children, you can have them draw pictures of your family doing fun things together or create poems or stories about how they may be feeling. A few feeling words could be: happy, excited, anxious, worried or sad. Discuss the stories, poems or words with your child and ask your child if there is anything that would help make summer more fun. For older children, ask them what they think about current events and listen to their thoughts and feelings. Open up lines of communication between you and your child so that they can feel more comfortable expressing themselves now and in the future. Listen to your children without giving advice or trying to solve their problems. Work WITH your children to brainstorm and create a list or plan of fun things that they could do on their own or with you throughout the rest of the summer.

  3. Navigate close quarters. Having the entire family in the home for an extended period of time can put stress on any family. This may cause tension between parents or with children. Communication skills are vital in this situation. Practice using the “I Statement” communication technique with your family members. It works well with both adults and children. Regular check-ins (daily or every other day) can help alleviate some tension of being constantly in the home as well. “I Statements” are “I feel ______ when ______, please ______.”
Check out these links for summer resources during COVID-19: Here are more ideas for summer fun at home!
  • Chalk the Walk. Create beautiful chalk art on your driveway or neighborhood sidewalk to inspire your community. All that’s needed is sidewalk chalk and imagination!
  • Visit a virtual museum like the San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum.
  • Volunteer together! Check out opportunities here.
Discover more ways to support your children this summer. Remember to take care of yourself this summer, too. Activities are not always necessary. Often it’s enough to just spend time together, talking, listening, and being close. Tired of talking? Listen to some music, as music is a great way to be with others without having to engage in conversation. At Kids’ Turn San Diego, we exist to change family relationships in positive ways so children feel happy, heard and understood. We applaud your dedication to your children! Thank you for doing your part to keep us all healthy!