The coronavirus pandemic has raised concerns about childhood development, thanks to restrictions in socialising and contact with the outside world. These concerns are valid, though there is much that parents can do to help their children cope with the impact of the pandemic. The level of disruption and distress a child may feel about the pandemic varies from family to family, so it is essential to find what may work best for your children. 

Here are some of the ways you can keep your kids on an excellent developmental path in 2021. 

Maintain A Good Routine

One of the cardinal rules of staying mentally healthy during disruptive times is keeping up a routine. This should include set times for school, studying and mealtimes where possible. Many children have returned to school over the spring, which will go a long way to helping improve the routines for many. For those still unable to go back to school, a set remote school routine is crucial. 

You could consider starting each day at a set time, with lunch at the same time each day, just as they would have in school. You could consider giving your kids some flexibility in their routine to choose for themselves what they want to study, though the extent that you should do this will depend on your child’s age. 

Get Creative With Activities

Even if your kids are back at school, it is crucial to expose them to new activities and experiences. The past 12 months of lockdowns and restrictions have meant that kids have lost a lot of time vital in broadening their horizons. 

It may help to look up different activities you could do together now that the lockdown is easing. This could be activities like rock-climbing, going to the zoo or going for walks in new areas. The important thing is to show your kids more of the wider world and get them used to new and fun experiences. 

Stay Connected With Family And Friends

The vaccine rollout means that we will be able to socialise in person more and more in the coming months. Unfortunately for the older generations and those particularly vulnerable to the virus, it may still be some time before we can safely gather. 

Staying in contact with family and friends is a crucial way to keep your kids connected with their community and keep their relationships strong. You could consider hosting regular virtual hangouts or other bonding experiences with your kids’ grandparents, other relatives and friends so that they will feel secure in these bonds. 

Use The Latest Technology

Technology can be a considerable asset for helping kids stay on the right developmental track. Many homes are already using virtual meeting software to help connect their children to school and socialisation lifelines. Technology can also be used to help kids who are struggling in their studies. For instance, using captions on lesson videos can help to improve literacy and understanding of a topic at once. 

Check out Caption.Ed Assistive Technology for Communication for an idea of how this tech can hugely benefit your kids’ education and development. 

Discuss The Pandemic In Age-Appropriate Terms

It is helpful for kids to get their information about the world around them from you. This means that you can give them the information in age-appropriate terms and ways that will minimise anxiety or fear. For instance, you will need to use different language with a five-year-old compared to a 15-year-old. 

Tell them what the pandemic is in simple terms, and explain you have to take various safety measures. You could also take this chance to discuss the vaccine rollout and how that will impact the restrictions on our lives. 

Give Them – And Yourself – Some Slack

We are living in unprecedented times. No one is going to get it right 100% of the time, and it is essential that you remember this and remind your children of it too. It may help to take time to spend with one another and remember that it’s okay not to be doing perfectly all the time

We have been inundated with stories of people starting hobbies, opening businesses and succeeding during the pandemic. It is important to remember that you are doing just as well, and success during challenging times comes in all shapes and sizes. 

Final Thoughts

While it is essential to ensure that your children are getting the development and education they need to thrive later in life, it is just as important to remember that we are living in uniquely challenging times. It would help if you considered how to broaden your kids’ horizons from home and make an effort to get out and about to help them connect with the world.  Technology has been hugely helpful in keeping us all connected during the months of lockdown, and further use will only continue helping kids achieve their best.