I was on the phone earlier today talking with one of my staff members when my daughter taps my hand and mouths quietly that Dorito, her hedgehog, needs a bath as he’s gotten “something gross” on his paws and now it’s all over her blanket. Saying “It’s a unique time to be a parent” during this time would be an understatement!
A lot has been asked of all of us these past few weeks – stay inside, wash your hands. Adjust your routine, follow social distancing. Cope with changes to your job and in some cases, your paycheck. Become your child’s teacher, and of course, do all of this without losing your sanity! We have never gone through something like this and it is hard, emotional and stressful at times.
It’s also an opportunity for us to teach our kids how to live inside out even when we’re not allowed to be out. The best way to show them how to care for themselves and others during this time? We need to lead by example.
Teach your kids the power of kindness and gratitude – how can your family show kindness to others without leaving the house? Encourage your child to offer a sibling or parent help with a chore, or to call a family member and make it a point to ask about how they’re doing. Start a family gratitude paper chain (make sure you participate, too!), or make cards to add to our virtual Gratitude for First Responders photo album.
Teach your kids what it means to persevere and collaborate – with sports and other activities on hold, head outside and kick the soccer ball or catch a frisbee 20 times without letting it fall. With younger kids, it can be as simple as building a block tower. When it falls, encourage your child to persevere, and show them what it means to try, try again when we are faced with a challenge.
Teach your kids about curiosity and learn something new together! Teach your kids about acceptance and empathy – we have some great videos and books featured on Inside Out Club @Home to get these conversations started.
Teach your kids about the importance of self-awareness. Being home all day, every day isn’t much fun for anyone, and especially for kids who are used to seeing friends, teachers and neighbors. Arm your child with the tools they need to recognize their emotions and cope with them in a productive way.
Inside Out Club is here to work side-by-side with parents, kids and families, providing opportunities and resources to help you continue to live your lives “inside and out” right from home. Along with Inside Out Club @Home, we hope you’ll join us for our first-ever Inside Out Club on Spring Break!
I have been looking for silver linings and challenging my kids to do the same. With books, videos and activities on our website and some of the ideas here, we hope Inside Out Club can provide a silver lining for your family during this time.
We are here if you need anything.
Marion B. Ruthig
Founder & Executive Director