March 24, 2020


Summit Center Updates

Pro Tips: Staying Calm During the Crisis

Let’s face it, we are all anxious and it is not hard to see why. Just a couple short weeks ago, reports of coronavirus or Covid-19 were sort of remote; an outbreak in Washington state that looked serious and even one in New Rochelle (a little closer, but still nearly 400 miles away). Suddenly our kids are home, the rest of the school year is up in the air and there is almost no where to go.

So, what is a parent to do? How do we appear calm and collected for our children when they are missing weeks of regular schooling, we have no day care, we don’t know who will get sick and our economy on shaky ground? This can be really difficult at times, but here are some tips:

  1. Stick to routines. We all thrive on routines but if you have a child with a developmental or behavioral challenge, I cannot stress enough the key to routines. If your normal routine is getting up at 7 a.m. and school starts at 9a.m., try to stick with this. Keep mornings for schoolwork (if your school/district is not mandating a schedule) and limit non-school related screen time to after “school hours.” Stick to this as best you can daily while schools are on hiatus.
  2. Take a walk/hike outside. On nice days go to a park or just walk around the block. There is no reason we cannot be enjoying nature right now. Take advantage of the natural ventilation of the great outdoors and get some exercise! We do need to stay 6 feet away from each other (especially those we do not live with) and do not go out if you or family members are sick.
  3. Use technology to stay in touch. We are lucky in that we can video chat with family and friends to stay in touch. Use these resources to check on loved ones and discuss concerns.
  4. If your children have questions, answer them. Be aware of your child’s developmental abilities and keep your answers in line with these.
  5. Avoid too much news. When most of the news is dire, it is not a good idea to keep it on all day or check on it constantly. This will only make you feel worse. Prioritize your news sources and limit the times you access them.
  6. Try to have some fun. You’re going to be with your family (most likely) quite a bit for the next few weeks. Find a new thing to do together; start a jigsaw puzzle, or a learn a new card game, teach your child a new and rewarding skill. Take cues from your child and do not push it, but not commuting or getting ready for school allows for extra time every day – take advantage of this to have some fun!
  7. Seek expert advice. There is a lot of information out there and where you get this from is very important right now. The CDC has a wealth of information, including a page on taking care of yourself, signs of distress and a link to helping your children cope –

Lastly, I think we should all keep in mind one important fact: this too shall pass.

Written by Laura Skotarczak, Director of Genesis Support Services at The Summit Center