This past couple of years has done one thing, if nothing else, shown each and every one of us we have a warrior within. Pat your back you have survived a global pandemic. Now what the heck do you do? And what do you do if you have kids? Behaviors have changed for us all, and we need to learn to navigate this new world.
Dr. Bethany Cook, a Clinical Psychologist, Health Service Psychologist, Adjunct Professor, and a Board Certified Music Therapist, shares a few important points to think about, with your spouse and most definitely with your kids:
1. What will we still see in society as the world slowly opens up?
I believe masks and the preference for social distancing in lines are here to stay for some.
- Many people liked the anonymity masks brought to them (I saw an interview of some famous bloke in the UK who said he absolutely loved wearing masks because he could, for the first time in years, go into the middle of a store like Costco and not be recognized and shop like a “normal person.”)
- Other people will want to continue to wear masks because they found that it helped prevent additional illnesses whether they were relatively healthy to begin with (my kids have gone through this entire pandemic without a cold or sniffle.
- I’ve found going to stores recently that even though the signs are removed and the marks on the floor are gone, people want to continue the 6 feet distant rule in public places. I’ve witnessed someone standing too close to someone else and this individual became unhinged, so be prepared. (Remain calm and just recognize the person panicking and may have lost a loved one to Covid). If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that kindness goes a long way.
2. Changes in schools that may remain-
Each school district will more than likely have their own rules and expectations.
- I imagine mask wearing will still be implemented in many schools especially since the variants are increasing the number of cases.
- Schools may wish to continue a hybrid model of teaching, especially in areas where the weather/distance has impacted a child’s ability to physically get to the school.
- Increased use of handwashing will more than likely continue.
3. What would you recommend that parents teach or coach their kids to do (or keep doing or start doing) in order to hopefully avoid coming down with the first virus or bacterial infection that develops on the campus of their elementary or middle school?
- Parents should encourage their child to continue practicing hand washing and mask wearing while at school or at inside events. Don’t eat from buffet style meals unless the food is individually wrapped. Highlight for your child the number of colds they got during Covid vs the number of times they were sick prior to the extra health precautions (mask, hand washing, social distance).
- Make sure you have a few “rehearsed” phrases your child can say to someone who makes a rude comment about continued mask wearing, hand washing and/or social distancing.
4. What are some behaviors that you hope that parents might get their kids to NOT do, in order to hopefully reduce their chances of getting sick (with Covid or with anything else that might get passed around by kids at school)?
- Ask your child to not eat food/snacks that aren’t individually wrapped and to stay away from bowls of food at a party where multiple people can breath and touch.
- Don’t eat cake where people blow out candles.
- Don’t pick their nose and bite their fingernails.
- It would be nice if kids continued to elbow or fist bump instead of hug or hand shake.