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Nourish Your Child's Brain With These Amazing Books

Author: John Willson

The parent's entire universe revolves around their child. They are a centre of gravity, love, hope, desires and eternity for their parents. Parents want their children to flourish, nourish and explore the world through their skills, abilities and built-in capabilities. This is only possible when the child curiosity and desire to investigate things grow. Parents need to keep these needs in mind. Only we can nourish our children by teaching them to develop a good spirit and a hunger for knowledge. So you love the best for your kids, right? The best products for the best one. I strongly recommend that you try the products from Sweet Dreamers. They have the cutest variety of stuff for your toddler. And, of course, there are some fantastic books that would be of benefit to your child's capabilities and nourish their thinking.

The Toddler Brain:

Written by Laura A. Jana, the book aims to nourish your child's brain. It seeks to nurture and teach them the skills today that will benefit them and shape the child's future. The Toddler Brain aids the parents with perceiving the association that exists between their nurturing ways of behaving and their kid's capacity to attain the abilities. Dr Jana investigates the significance of play and interest, creative minds, and decisively fortifying youngsters' brain associations in their initial five years.

The Whole-Brain Child:

The book's author, Daniel J. Siegel, a neuropsychiatrist, and a co-author Tina Payne have beautifully explained the twelve essential strategies for the nurturance of the child's mind. The authors introduce how a child's mind forms and develops. In small kids, the right cerebrum and its feelings are governed by the rationale of the left mind. You can turn any eruption, contention, or dread into an opportunity to coordinate your kid's cerebrum and encourage fundamental development by applying these strategies. Read the book, and you will get to know how these techniques work.

The How To Talk Series:

A more prominent name but the most significant aspect as well. The author Adele Faber has magnificently explained the facts and figures of the listening capabilities. The toddlers learn from their parents' behaviours and their speaking capabilities. They speak what they listen to and act how their parents behave. This book has some extraordinary coping strategies and methods and innovative ideas to deal with your child's negative feelings, parents' expressions, and alternatives for punishing the children (that would not damage their learning skills). The book is a must-read and a complete guide for the parents to nourish their children intellectually.

Raising Good Humans:

The most natural and the nearer to God, children, have been discussed in this book. The author, Hunter Clarke Fields, and co-author, Carla Naumburg, have explained with in-depth clarity and precision and have devised the techniques and abilities to deal with the child's behaviour and how to raise them in the best way. In Raising Good Humans, you will hunt down the exquisite and robust techniques to break free from the responsive nurturing propensities and raise kind, agreeable, and confident children.

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids:

As clearly evident from the name, this book deals with the strategies for the children and the parents to teach them the spirit of dealing with coping strategies. The book's author Dr Laura speaks for the soothing parents, that if a parent stops yelling at their children, the children will learn this and apply the same with the others. If a parent screams and does not allow their child express their feelings, there will be a lack of connection between parent and child, which is potentially traumatic for the both of them. I strongly recommend that parents try to foster good rapport and relationship with their child. Cultivating enthusiastic associations with your youngster makes genuine and enduring change. There won't be any need to undermine, bother, argue, pay off, or even rebuff a child whenever a parent has an indispensable association with the child.

5 Reasons Why Books Are Responsible For Children’s Growth

Written by John Willson

Providing children with the proper development is crucial for their growth. After all, this will be a direct factor in deciding how their personality will develop. Proper development ensures that children become responsible adults who can make it out in the world. For this, getting the appropriate education and learning is essential. Going to school certainly helps, but it may not always be enough. Other experiences and activities are needed to help children in their development process. 

One such activity is reading books. 

Reading is a beautiful way of fueling children's development. It can help them cultivate essential skills that can help them greatly in the future. But how exactly are books and reading responsible for a child's growth? We will discuss exactly that in this article. Without further delay, let's dive in. 

1. Improves vocabulary and English

Books tend to have a wide variety of vocabulary used that your children will likely be unfamiliar with. Reading opens up your child to a wide variety of works that can help improve English vocabulary. When they see these words being incorporated into sentences, they can better understand how to use them. Eventually, they can include these words into their vocabulary and speech. Later on, they can move on to learning harder English words as they go through various reading levels. 

2. Improves brain power

Reading presents many new words to children, which can be challenging for them. As they read and begin to comprehend these words, their brain slowly begins to adjust and expand to the challenge. In a sense, their brain is getting exercise which helps improve its brainpower. Enhanced vocabulary use from reading also improves language skills, which can be an essential skill later on. Typically, academics require language skills, especially at the higher stages. Reading can help enhance brain development which can be effective for academics. 

3. Helps build character

Books tend to present children with stories about different situations and people. Such situations could be those that they may likely face in their life later on. Reading these stories can help develop valuable social and emotional skills that can help build their character and personality. For example, consider a book about a protagonist put into difficult situations. The protagonist is put into a position where he has to steal but doesn't, regardless of his circumstances. This can teach a child that they should always uphold good morals no matter how difficult the circumstances are. It can be invaluable for helping them develop a good character. 

4. Provides assurance

Growing up can be a distressing experience for children. After all, the world is an unfamiliar place, and it is only natural that it will make them anxious. They will undoubtedly be met with difficult situations and may not know how to react to them. By reading books, they can find relatable characters and situations that can help them feel assured and understood. It can help them feel less anxious about their conditions, fuelling acceptance for unfamiliar situations. This can be an invaluable development for children once they grow up and face real-life situations. 

5. Improves imagination

Like stories and novels, books typically do not contain pictures, and everything described is done primarily through words. This means that anyone reading is required to visually imagine the descriptions within their minds. This can be an excellent exercise for the mind that helps foster visual imagery and comprehension. Imagination may seem like a useless skill to some people, but most of the world's greatest inventions were based on creativity and visualization. Therefore, books can help develop children's imagination which can help them later in life. 

Wrapping up

Children's development is an essential process that dictates how their personalities and character will evolve. There are various ways to do so, and one such way is through reading books. Reading books can help children's growth in a variety of ways. It helps improve their English vocabulary, their brainpower and their imagination. It also helps them build character by presenting them with various new situations. It can also provide them with assurance by showing them relatable stories and characters to help them feel understood.

Thank you for reading! We hope this article has been insightful and recommend you encourage your children to read books.

Teaching Children Healthy Habits Through Parents' Behaviours

 Written by Jason Kenner

There is no magic wand for creating healthy kids. It takes work and discipline, often your own, to parent children in a way that encourages them to make healthy choices.

If you're wondering what you can do now to help your kids grow up to be physically, mentally, and emotionally strong, Canada Personalized Gifts shares some tips.

Encourage Life-Long Learning

Being healthy is more than just eating fruits and vegetables. It's a whole-self process that includes the mind and personal development. In fact, lifelong learning is considered by some experts to be an indispensable tool in reaching your full potential.

Children look up to their parents and closely watch what they are doing, and as PsychCentral explains, they're likely to model the behaviours that they see at home. As such, you can encourage them to pursue personal growth and lifelong learning by doing so yourself. If there is something you've always wanted to do but have been afraid to try, show your kids that you're willing to take risks and go after it.

Also, look for ways to encourage your child to continue learning. As an example, Canada Personalized Gifts offers a number of great books that incorporate your child’s name into the story — this is a fantastic way to get them to explore the benefits of reading.

Help Them Find an Outlet

Too much stress can affect a person's health, no matter their age. You can help your children with good stress-reduction habits by assisting them in finding an outlet. For some children, that may be a team sport or a creative hobby, such as painting or drawing. For others, individual sports like martial arts can be a great way to blow off steam and learn focus and self-discipline. Plus, it’s a chance to learn self-defense skills, which could come in handy at any stage in life.

Quit Smoking

All parents are concerned about their children experimenting with drugs and alcohol, and this is one more area where modeling behaviours is the best thing you can do. Studies cited by The Conversation indicate that when parents use drugs, alcohol and tobacco, their families are more apt to experience insecurities. If you are a smoker, your children are much more likely to pick up this habit as well.

Quitting smoking is essential if you want to break that cycle. While it isn't easy, there are a few things you can do to ensure success:

  • Try using quitting aids instead of going cold turkey
  • Be prepared for nicotine withdrawal
  • Make a list of reasons to quit that you can look at when you have a craving
  • Get your family involved

Not only will giving up cigarettes make you healthier, but it will also show your children that you can accomplish hard things.

Take Care of Your Own Mental Health

Good mental health is an essential part of good overall wellbeing. Without it, you may struggle to make healthy decisions and live a full and vibrant life. The best way to help your children build mental resilience is to take charge of your own mental health. Don't be afraid to pursue therapy, and let your children know what you're doing.

If you aren't feeling your best, don't keep your family in the dark. Vulnerability on your part will give your kids the courage to speak up when they're feeling low, too.

Consider also your living environment and how it contributes to any feelings of tension or frustration. If your home is scattered and disorganized, this can manifest in behaviours like lashing out or feeling overwhelmed. Because you and your children deserve a healthy home life, make a point to clean and declutter, add a few plants and some feel-good artwork, and set up an organization system so everyone feels the benefits of order. 

Raising healthy kids takes effort on the parents' part, but it is work worth doing. Remember the importance of living a healthy life yourself and being an example that your children will draw from both now and in the future.

The Full Parent Guide for Children Financial Education – Teach Your Kids About Money and Investing

Suggested by Jana Vivien Lopez, a teacher, with reference to a blog we posted some time ago about teaching kids about personal finance.

Jana wrote:

Hello there,I saw that you mentioned Financial Literacy for kids here:

As a teacher that faces technology challenges in education, I find there is a need to educate teachers on what risks kids face online these days.I want to suggest you share an important guide which came out last month. I found it was very thorough on child safety online: liked the way they summarized each section with actionable items for the teachers.Thanks for helping protect our kids,


How to Plan a Budget-Friendly Vacation Your Entire Family Will Love

Written by Jenna Sherman

The best part about vacationing with your family is making all of those wonderful memories. The worst part about planning a family vacation, however, can be figuring out how to keep it fun without your finances taking a hit. To save you the headache, Canada Personalized Gifts shares a few creative ways you can keep your family vacation costs reasonable.

Plan Some Family- and Budget-Friendly Entertainment

When traveling with little ones, keeping them entertained on the road and in hotel rooms can save everyone a lot of stress. One simple and inexpensive entertainment option is a tablet. These can be a great option for kids when it comes to videos, educational apps and even e-books. Be sure to invest in a durable case if you get a tablet, and go ahead and buy an extra charger to ensure your kiddos stay powered up.

Of course, if you prefer to keep travels tech-free, you can also use these tips to keep your kids entertained during trips. If you want to encourage reading, buy your kiddos a handful of books they can enjoy over and over, like personalized books with their favorite character or superhero.

Try to Pack Light

This can be easier said than done when you have little kids in tow, but look for ways to minimize what you pack. For little ones that need a pack-n-play, reach out to see if your hotel or vacation rental will provide one. Try to take a single stroller, preferably a light umbrella stroller, and limit the number of toys. When it comes to suitcases, older kids should be able to easily use a roller suitcase, but make sure whatever you get fits their height.

Save Money and Stress with an All-Inclusive Family Vacation

Family resorts that offer inclusive, affordable fun for kids and adults of all ages can be found stateside and abroad, and they can be a low-stress way to keep your vacation costs down. Although the cost of these resorts may seem a bit high compared to other hotels, it’s important to keep in mind that those prices also include meals, beverages, activities, and entertainment for the duration of your trip. So, instead of factoring those individual costs into your travel budget, you can simply pay one price. Some packages may include airfare, but if not you can use travel apps to find the best prices on plane tickets to get you to your final destination.

Flight tracking apps like Skyscanner make finding and tracking low-cost airfare super simple, while apps like Skiplagged may take some additional visits to help you save money on family travels. Another easy and all-inclusive option for your family vacation is to plan a budget-friendly cruise, the price of which usually covers all of your family’s vacation needs.

Plan Family Trips Outside of Popular Vacation Seasons

Many families miss out on affordable vacation fun because they try to plan their trips for the busiest vacation seasons. If you are trying to save money on your family travel, consider booking your trips during less-busy periods throughout the year. For example, some of the best times to visit Disney World include the fall and winter months, when the weather is actually pretty perfect and parks tend to be less packed with tourists. You may even be able to snag seasonal specials or enjoy special entertainment when you visit theme parks during off-peak months, which will help you make the most of those travel dollars.

You can also cut costs when you travel to national parks during off-peak seasons. For instance, if you travel to the US, hotel prices in towns around the Grand Canyon can be 50 percent cheaper from October to January, so timing can be everything when you are trying to plan a fun family vacation without going over a tight budget.

Family vacations can definitely put a strain on your wallet. However, by thinking outside of the box as you plan your trip, you can ensure everyone has fun without worrying about paying for extra expenses during your travels. Just look for simple ways to save, such as booking all-inclusive options or traveling during off-peak times, and you can take all of the stress out of fitting your family vacation into a limited family budget.


Photo Credit: Pixabay

Working From Home: How to Design a Home Office With Productivity and Comfort in Mind

Here is what Greg Smith of RE/MAX ALLIANCE has to say about "How to Design a Home Office with Productivity and Comfort in Mind"

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First Year Feeding Guide For Babies

Authored By: Sell Formula

What Experts say Will Be The Lasting Effects Of The Pandemic On Our Children

We Asked the Experts. Here is what they say.

With reports of learning losses, depression and anxiety, and lack of socialization, parents are worried their kids may suffer the consequences of the pandemic for years to come. The bad news is children have of course been affected. The good news is it doesn't mean it will be for the long run. Parents share their stories while experts weigh in.

By Sarah Lindenfeld Hall 

February 23, 2021

A year into the pandemic, the stress had gotten to be too much for Beth Phillips's 11-year-old son. He kept hearing about people the family knew who died from COVID-19. Not understanding the higher risks that come with pre-existing conditions, he thought that if anybody in his immediate family got COVID, they would die.

"He came to me the other day and said, 'Life just doesn't feel like it's worth living anymore because I'm just scared,'" says Phillips, who lives in Texas. "He just started crying."

It wasn't the first time her son had expressed hopelessness during the pandemic. Before his birthday in October, Phillips asked him how he wanted to celebrate. "He said, 'I don't want to do anything. It doesn't even feel like a birthday; there's no point,'" his mom remembers. "It was really sad. We couldn't get him out of that funk."

The pandemic has unearthed a myriad of challenges across generations. But for kids it can be especially stark. Emerging research shows that the impacts of the pandemic could be long lasting as some kids struggle with serious mental health issues or face setbacks in their academics and ability to socialize with others.

Experts point to school closures.

"Schools are really the heart of meeting a lot of needs of young people," says Karen VanAusdal, senior director of practice at CASEL, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning. "When you remove that, there are ripple effects in our society."

Of course, not every child is struggling in the same way. Some are flourishing in isolation—and instead worry about reentering school and society when it's safe. Others have found new ways to socialize with friends safely but might be failing in school. And some are missing out on the vital services they need to grow, including meals, therapy, and mental health services they would get at school.

"We need to acknowledge that there has been a whole spectrum of experiences," says VanAusdal, who works with school districts across the country on social and emotional learning programs. "We have to figure out how to address that full range of experiences."

The Academic Slide

As schools shut down last spring, Phillips grew frustrated with the quality of the virtual education her three boys—then in preschool, first grade, and fourth grade—were getting. "It was a lot of busy work," she says. "They weren't really learning anything." Now her kids are back at in-person school, and she's pleased with their progress.

And while Nancy Brier's 17-year-old daughter, a high school junior in California, is doing well in her coursework, which is all virtual, Brier has been concerned about screen time and dismayed by some teachers who she says haven't been mindful of it. Her daughter ultimately dropped one class because it was too much.

Nancy Brier and her family

Many school districts have mounted a massive effort to distribute devices and hotspots to kids who need them. And countless teachers have incorporated creative ways to ensure kids are learning and engaged online. But glitchy software or slow internet connections dampen those efforts. And as parents attempt to work and supervise their kids at the same time, some don't have the resources, knowledge, or time to help with every technology issue or tutor them in fractions.

"One of the biggest takeaways is that there is no average kid right now," says Ryan Balch, Ph.D., a former teacher and senior lecturer in education policy at Vanderbilt University. "The situation varies school by school. The situation varies teacher by teacher, and it varies house by house."

But what research shows is that many kids are struggling to learn, particularly students who were marginalized before the pandemic because of their socioeconomic status, race, or learning differences.

Last fall, the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University calculated a "COVID slide" in 19 states that totals between 57 and 183 days of learning loss in reading and 136 to 232 days of learning loss in math in spring 2020 for students.

In October, Bellwether Education Partners, a nonprofit that researches education issues, estimated that as many as 3 million students may have simply stopped going to school in March 2020. Many of these missing students live in low-income households and are more likely to be Black, Latino, or Native American, according to the report.

The worst-case scenario is that this learning loss will carry forward, impacting a child's achievement through school and their success into adulthood. "The divide gets worse and worse if the original issue isn't fixed," says Dr. Balch.

But there is some good news, says Halley Potter, senior fellow at The Century Foundation, a progressive nonpartisan think tank. Research shows that students can recover lost learning if school districts have the funding and resources for summer learning programs, extended school years, and intensive tutoring. A study from ERS, a national nonprofit that partners with local and state leaders, found that with targeted tutoring, kids can make up one to two years of academic growth. But, says Potter, school systems across the country will need funding and flexibility to make that happen.

"One of the things that I would really like to see is our leaders in Washington stepping up and providing significant support for summer learning, especially for low-income students over this next summer," she says.

The community—from parents to local businesses—also will need to step up to provide support, such as tutoring, says Dr. Balch. "All cards need to be on the table, all options need to be present, all hands on deck," he says.

And as school districts look for ways to support students who need to catch up, Potter says they also should note what's working now, including why some kids have thrived during remote learning and how some children of color have felt less of a burden because they're away from long-standing discriminatory practices. Research, for example, has shown racial disparities in how kids are disciplined at school. "There's a real opportunity to seize on some of those learnings to try and reinvent things," she says.

Mental Health Issues on the Rise

At school one day, when her middle son's second grade teacher told him to switch out his gaiter for a face mask, Phillips was shocked to hear he'd thrown a chair in class. "He must be dealing with bigger things that he doesn't know how to name or how to deal with and that caused him to act out like that because he's never done that before," she says.

And her oldest son, who has ADHD and is in special education classes at school, has seen a counselor in the past. His teacher and school counselor provide great support at school, she says, but she's thinking about possibly sending him back for more counseling. Phillips, who works in public relations, has clients in the mental health space, and she's read the reports about suicide and kids during the pandemic.

"That scares the hell out of me. I just don't want him to be one of those statistics," she says of her oldest son. "That's just always in the back of my mind."

Beth Phillips and her family

Jennifer Rothman, senior manager of youth and young adult information, support, and education for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, says we don't know what the impacts of the pandemic on kids' mental health in the long run will be just yet. New reports, however, paint a scary picture across nearly all age groups.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that while overall rates of emergency room visits have decreased during COVID, the proportion of visits related to mental health emergencies, when the patient may be a danger to themselves or others, has grown—up 24 percent for kids ages 5 to 11 and 31 percent for kids ages 12 to 17.

Those emergencies include suicidal ideation. It's not clear if there was a spike in suicides last year, but there are signs that it could be a problem. Las Vegas is reopening schools because of student suicides there. And across the country, as youth sports were canceled, there is a troubling trend among young athletes who have died by suicide.

Meanwhile, the National Eating Disorders Association has seen a 46 percent increase in the number of minors contacting them for help—22 percent of total contacts from March 2020 to December 2020 were minors compared to 15 percent from the year before. Eating disorders have the second highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness, just behind opioid addiction, according to the association.

When kids tell Martha Perry, M.D., a pediatrician and medical director of UNC Children's Primary Care Clinic in North Carolina, that they don't understand why they're feeling so bad, she points out what they're missing. Even if they didn't enjoy school, they've lost the daily routines of school life, including a regular eating and sleeping schedule and physical movement at recess or to and from class, along with time around other people.

"All these things impact your mood and energy, and all of that is gone," says Dr. Perry. "So it's not surprising that we're seeing the increase in depression and anxiety, in particular."

She's especially worried about teens. Biologically craving independence, they prefer to get support from their peers, who they may be shut off from during the pandemic. And parents, who may think their teens need less supervision than younger kids because they appear so capable on the outside, might not be catching red flags that they need help.

"On the one hand, they are old enough to take care of themselves physically," says Brier, the mom of a 17-year-old. "But on the other hand, they are still so needy. And I think that, as parents, is really important for us to hold that in our hearts."

The bottom line is every child is responding differently to months without normal activities and isolation from regular contact with friends. And some kids are more prone to mental health issues. Rates of anxiety and depression and suicide among kids and teens were growing even before COVID, according to the CDC. And while it's not clear if the recent rise in mental health issues will linger in the future, it's important for parents to know these illnesses are treatable.

If parents believe their child is struggling with a mental illness, a good first step is to contact their pediatrician for an evaluation, says Rothman. "From there, your pediatrician will be able to refer you to specialists to decide on what treatment options will work best for your child," she says. "The earlier your child starts treatment, the better the outcomes."

A Need for Socialization

After a move that took her family from Chicago to Baltimore last spring, Shefali Shah's 5-year-old daughter is thriving. She moved seamlessly into her new school and has gotten to know—from a distance—the older adults in the neighborhood who miss their own grandchildren.

But Shah worries about her 2-year-old son, whose only playmate is his older sister. And when it's time to emerge from the pandemic, she wonders how they'll react when they can get on airplanes and see far-flung family members. "It's going to be a transition where they always wonder, 'Is it OK if I hug them? What if they hug me?'" she says.

LaTasha Perkins, M.D., has similar worries about her own 2-year-old daughter, who recently recovered from COVID. The family doctor knows that, developmentally, her daughter would normally be playing in parallel with other kids, side by side as they do their own thing. To ensure she's around kids, she takes her daughter to the park. And she's considering putting together a pod of one or two children so her daughter can play with others.

"I've been thinking about that the whole time," says Dr. Perkins, who works at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C. "I do want to make sure that she's acclimated and used to interacting with people and playing in parallel."

LaTasha Perkins, M.D., and her 2-year-old daughter

On a positive note, VanAusdal says that social-emotional development for most kids has continued during the pandemic as they learn to form healthy relationships or understand and manage their emotions at home. They may be forming closer bonds with parents or, like Shah's younger son, regularly playing with siblings. "Lots of [socialization] can happen with siblings and family," she says.

Younger children have a leg up when it comes to the pandemic's social impacts. Toddlers and preschoolers are typically happy to be at home with their family. Some grade schoolers have found new ways to socialize with friends, whether it's going for bike rides or building online Minecraft worlds together. Teens have remained connected via social media and other platforms.

Brier's 17-year-old daughter participates in school basketball and cheer practices via Zoom and has been able to spend more time on her YouTube channel, Lauren Reporting Live, where she recently uploaded a video talking about the five classmates you'll have in your distance learning class. "She's been able to have a lot more creative expression in her life," says Brier.

Of course, not every child has the same opportunities. For some children, especially those without daily necessities, such as food or a stable home, or who are trapped with an abusive parent, these past many months have been traumatic, says Michael Thompson, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and author of Best Friends, Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children. But if kids have what they need most—love from the people around them and the knowledge that those people are keeping them safe—they will be emotionally whole, even after challenging experiences, he says.

"We have to sort out the fact that most families have tried to rally and done the very best they could to keep their children safe and keep them learning," says Dr. Thompson. "And we have to give them credit for that. When a parent does that, a child is likely not going to be traumatized."

Most kids are resilient, experts say. But at a time when parents and leaders are concerned about kids' well-being, VanAusdal hopes school districts place as much emphasis on social-emotional development as they do on academics going forward. Research shows that kids who participate in social-emotional learning programs do better in school, are better behaved, and are better able to manage stress than those who don't.

"I think we can build on this momentum and understand and push against the narrow focus on learning loss and understand that social-emotional learning is very much tied to academics and growth," she says. "You can't separate them; they go hand in hand."

Shefali Shah and her two kids

How Parents Can Help Their Kids Move Forward

As the COVID vaccine is rolled out and a light begins to glimmer at the end of this long COVID tunnel, there are ways to help kids now during these difficult times and prepare them for what's next. Here's what experts say.

Take care of yourself

While parents are naturally concerned about their kids, Rothman's biggest worry is the stress and heaviness that's weighing on all members of a family, including parents. Her No. 1 tip for parents is to make sure they're taking care of themselves and seeking help when they need it. "Self-care is extremely important when you're caring for others," she says. "Make sure you're in the right state of mind to be able to take care of your children."

Focus on routines

In-person school schedules require specific routines for sleeping, eating, and physical activity. As the days blend in together, it's been easy to slip out of any daily regularity. Bring it back. "Try to keep a routine as much as you can at home," says Rothman. Make bedtimes and mealtimes consistent. Ensure your kids are as active as possible.

Just walking up and down the stairs between virtual classes can help to simulate the movement that happens during a normal school day, says Dr. Perry. That return to a school-like pace to the day, she adds, also can help kids when it's time to reemerge.

Show empathy

Listen with empathy when kids tell you how they're feeling, says Dr. Thompson. Don't try to simply reassure them. "Reassurance is pretty thin gruel until you've listened and empathized," he says. "And reassurance is not empathy. Empathy is, 'I get it, sweetie. I see why that's scary for you.' The moment a parent gets it, the child thinks, 'I'm not alone with this.'"

Take time for teens

If you have a teen, check in with them regularly, even if they push you away. It doesn't take much. Dr. Perry recommends scheduling 20-minute weekly one-on-one sessions with them, playing a video game together, or doing something else that they enjoy. Approach it as an opportunity to be together, not to take corrective action. And when opportunities present themselves, perhaps a story in the news about teens during COVID, ask them open-ended questions about what they're hearing from friends or feeling themselves, says Dr. Perry.

Stick to concrete information

If they come to you worried about getting sick with COVID or what life will look like in the future, only share what you know, says Rothman. "Make sure you understand it first," she says. "And then be able to put it into bite size pieces for the kids, so they feel safe."

Find the positives in learning

If you're worried about your child's academic progress this year, Dr. Balch says it might be time to reframe your definition of success. While they might not have learned decimals, they may have learned how to open attachments in an email. "If you think about where actually the workforce is going and where the needs are going, what is more important now? Knowing a decimal or knowing how to open an attachment?" he says. "At a certain point, we do have calculators, but you're always going to have to use email at work."

Plan to move forward, not back

Life will likely remain different even after everyone is vaccinated, schools reopen, and kids can attend birthday parties and playdates again. There might still be face masks and a limit on hugs. That's why Dr. Perry counsels not to think about "going back," but moving forward instead.

"We're not waiting. We haven't hit the pause button. We are moving forward," she says. "We are all growing from this. Looking for that silver lining and helping teens and kids find that is really important. … If there's an expectation that we're going back to the same ways, we're not going to meet that expectation."

The Bottom Line

Whether it's dealing with learning losses, mental health issues, or missing out on a social life, it's no secret kids of all ages have been affected by the pandemic. The good news is there are ways for parents to step in and help their children move forward without them suffering long-term effects. That might mean getting outside help, but remember, there's nothing wrong with that, and neither is embracing the fact you're doing the best you can.

More Great Work-From-Home Tips from Finimpact

Authored By: Daniel Lewis

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Data scientist & chief editor for OutwitTrade