Needless to say, we’re all facing unexpected circumstances and challenges during this time. Through all of this, we want to support our Ethos community as best we can!
With all that is going on, many of us are wondering what we should be focusing on with our children. Based on what research experts are saying, we suggest a couple answers to this question below.
Simple pleasures of family time
More than anything (including academics), children need connection with their families during this time. While adults are navigating many changes, children are also experiencing a change in their environments. Focusing on family time contributes to a greater sense of stability and security.
Connecting with friends, teachers and peers
For our preschoolers, who have grown into more social beings, keeping in touch with their peers helps them maintain a sense of connectedness. Along with that, our learners, big and small, have formed attachments to their teachers. Our Ethos teachers have been hosting weekly Zoom meetups for these reasons! We encourage you to consider Facetiming other family and friends online and have them talk about their days and the activities they’re up to!
The 15/45 Minute Rule
With new schedules for everyone, it can be hard to balance and make time to work and connect with your child. The University of Texas’s AYC (Agency and Young children research collective) suggests the 15/45 rule:
Give your full attention to young children for 15 minutes and then give them an activity to keep them busy so that you can work or complete other responsibilities for 45 minutes.
The emotional connection a child has with a parent develops throughout life, but its foundation rests in the infant and toddler years. The connection that is built during those years impacts a child’s future relationship building, emotional and cognitive abilities, and stress response systems. During these stressful times, focus on nurturing your emotional connection with your child and building their resilience. Take this time to turn everyday moments into quality time.
Serve & Return
The idea of a serve and return relates to responsiveness in an adult-child interaction. These back and forth interactions boost brain development and strengthens connections between a caregiver and child. Below are a few ways to practice these interactions:
- Notice what grabs your child’s attention. When your child points or stares at an object, grab it for them, talk about this object. This will give you a chance to encourage them to explore, and you’ll strengthen the bond between you.
- Respond with positive support. This shows your child that their thoughts, feelings, and ideas are appreciated and heard.
- Keep interactions going after you respond, give wait time for the child to form their responses. This models conversation patterns which is great for language development and other cognitive factors.
Respond with positive encouragement:
A sound, a facial expression, or words in response to your child’s expression.
Learn more about the Serve & Return:
We hope you find this information useful!
As mentioned in the beginning, we are here for you and will continue to do what we can to support our Ethos families. Feel free to send us suggestions for what to write about next.
Till Next Post,
Ethos Early Learning Center Educator
The list below contributed to the suggestions above and also offer additional ideas and resources for you and your family during this pandemic:
- The Center On The Development Child at Harvard University
- Maintaining Your Family’s Mental Health During School Closures
- Activities to Promote Resilience in Infants & Toddlers
- How Caregivers Can Boost Young Brains
- Tips for Balanced Learning With Your Young Kids at Home
- Balancing Online/Remote and In-Person Learning for Young Children