It’s been nearly a year since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States and began affecting just about every area of our lives. In these difficult times, children and adults alike have had to be more resilient than ever to adapt to unusual day-to-day circumstances.
Children are far more resilient than one might expect, especially at younger ages. Nevertheless, it’s still a good idea to employ certain strategies to enhance that resilience when facing tough times like these. Here are a few child development tips from our daycare center in Phoenix, AZ that will help you bolster your children’s resiliency, as well as your own:
- Believe in the power of optimism: Optimism is a skill you can hone, not just a natural mindset that some people have and others don’t. By focusing on becoming more optimistic, you’ll find it much easier to get through challenging situations. As adults, make sure you keep the tone positive when children are around, and avoid discussing some of the doom and gloom of the news cycle until you’re in private. Encourage children to practice positive language (“Maybe next time!” “That’s not so bad!”), and to replace negative thoughts with these positive statements. Consider having a moment of daily gratitude, such as “Tell me three good things that happened to you today.”
- Practice empathy: The world needs more empathetic human beings. Empathy creates kinder children, and also encourages more resilience. Adults who model empathy will teach the skill to their children much more efficiently. Express care for other people’s feelings and experiences, and connect with children before you correct their behavior, indicating you know how they feel and want to hear their point of view. Encourage children to label their emotions.
- Creativity: Find every opportunity you can to cultivate your child’s creativity. Frequently ask “I wonder” types of questions, and plan activities that will naturally encourage creativity, such as art activities, music, building, etc. Encourage your children to practice new skills and try new things. Even something as simple as rearranging a room can go a long way toward boosting a child’s creativity.
- Follow routines: Sticking to a routine during difficult times can help young children navigate their day with greater ease. It adds a sense of familiarity during a time that can feel anything but normal or familiar. That being said, don’t be afraid to break the routine every now and then to throw something special into the mix—the longer the pandemic stretches on, the easier it can be to get worn down by the routines you’ve built up, so make sure to keep it fresh as much as possible.
These are just a few examples of some simple techniques you can use to help your children grow more resilient, a trait that will certainly be helpful during these difficult times. For more information and guidance, and to learn how our child care programs in Phoenix, AZ can help in this regard, we encourage you to contact Magical Star Preschool with any questions you have.