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COPING in the Third Wave


This post is an excerpt of mine from an April 2021 BACKYARD CAMP issue/email newsletter!


You must check out this Canadian website for families. I’ve copied some information below about the creative, fun, and smart activities and challenges they share for parents to keep their kids busy, active, and learning.


COPING IN THE THIRD WAVE


For many of us, it’s been a rough couple of weeks. We’ve got new lockdown restrictions, a return to remote learning, and skyrocketing COVID cases. Families across the country and globe face similar realities as we wade through the third wave. It’s difficult to be positive and see light at the end of the tunnel. Many parents wonder how to cope with this seemingly never-ending pandemic.


As tough as things are, as parents, let’s continue to model coping skills for our kids. They watch our every move!


So, here’s a couple of tips and some words of encouragement as we try to get ourselves and our families through the third wave.


1) Routines routines routines:


I’m a broken record repeating this point over the past year. Maintaining routines helps the household run smoothly and calmly. Bedtime, bath time, meal times, school hours, and outdoor play - keep to your schedule. We all (young and old) love the calm, security, and predictability that results from it - especially during times of uncertainty and utter pandemic fatigue.


2) Keep going:


We’re in the school year’s final stretch (and hopefully the pandemic’s final stretch too!). In a non-pandemic year, I would encourage my students to “give their all” at this point, just like in the final metres of a long race. But not this year. Instead, I nudge my students to simply “show up.”


3) Show up...


...and see what happens! Many kids will rise to the occasion during the school day, and others may just “put in the time.” But - just being part of class and its activities is a feat. Anything’s possible when you show up. One teacher colleague of mine said, “no matter how long this goes on, I have faith in my students and I’ll continue to push them to do their best and fill their potential.”


4) Use your village! (online, that is.)


Dial into communities such as Backyard Camp. Reach out to your friends and relatives for support of any kind. It takes a village to raise our families, now more than ever. Connect virtually with extended family, friends, and other supports such as tutors, counsellors, therapists, and health providers. Don’t do it alone.


5) Watch for signs of stress in your kids.


Some kids have become more resilient and adaptable during the pandemic, but other kids need more support. Ask yourself: are their moods and behaviours changing? Are your kids causing problems at home, or are any of their behaviours becoming extreme? Watch for signs and reach out to a mental health specialist or health care provider for support if needed.


6) Find some time for yourself every day, alone.


A dog walk, a shower or bath, a workout, a podcast, a nap, an hour with a book, or a phone call with a friend. Escape the realities of family life and responsibilities for a moment and focus on yourself.


Folks, we’ve made it this far and we’re still kicking. Let’s take each day at a time, stay connected and healthy, and try to acknowledge our small wins as we paddle through the third wave.


Stay healthy, and stay sane. We’ve got this!


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More about Backyard Camp:


Backyard Camp offers a free and paid email newsletter for parents and caregivers who would like help programming their child’s play activities. Unlike the various blogs that list many ideas for parents, Backyard Camp’s uniqueness is in the specificity and detail of its programming. This newsletter is personalized to the needs of each family’s circumstances, meaning the content received will be tailored for factors like the child’s age, activity preferences (e.g. crafts, sports), number of children and if they’re living in a house or building.


The content is provided by a range of contributors, from teachers to experienced camp counsellors. They’ve also partnered with existing programs, to share their expertise with the broader community and contribute to helping parents.

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For many more tips, grab a copy of Jane's book, Launch Your Kid: How to Promote Your Child’s Academic & Personal Success (without being a helicopter parent)