COVID-19 Support

During this uncertain time, as we all face the stress and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are committed to equipping you with free resources to provide continued emotional support for young children.

Our new special video series, featuring Al, the endearing puppet role model in our evidence-based program “Al’s Pals: Kids Making Healthy Choices,” helps children cope with daily life during the Coronavirus health crisis. Al talks with the children about his own feelings, about feelings they may be experiencing, and how to manage them.

Al’s messages can benefit all children, whether this is the first time they are meeting him, or they already know him from the classroom.

We invite you to share the videos and our other free resources through your social media outlets, on your website, through email or other ways you communicate with families and community partners.

Together we can foster children’s resilience during these challenging times and strengthen their skills for life.

 

Video:  Helping children deal with feelings about missing their friends and staying home 

In this video, Al talks to children about feelings they might be having from missing their friends and teachers and staying home, and the importance of staying healthy. Al sings the “I’m a Healthy Child” song that reminds children that being healthy means taking care of their bodies and talking about how they feel.

 

Video: Encouraging children to talk about feelings from missing events and friends 

In this video, Al encourages children to talk to a trusted adult about feelings they may have from missing fun events and friends due to the COVID-19 epidemic.

 

Video: Al helps children use the “Calm Down” steps to handle big feelings

In this video, Al talks to children about using the “Calm Down” steps to handle big feelings they may have from being home so much due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As you know, self-regulation is an important social-emotional skill, particularly during this unusual time when feelings flare up because daily life has changed for so many.

 

Video: Al helps children deal with feeling scared when they see people wear masks 

In this video, Al wears a mask and explains to children that many people are wearing masks to stay safe and healthy, and to stop the bad virus (COVID-19) from spreading. He tells them that it is ok if they feel scared or worried or any other feeling.

 

Video: Al helps children cope with being disappointed when plans are canceled 

In this video, Al talks with the children about feeling disappointed when plans are canceled due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. He encourages them to think of other fun things they can do while staying home and to talk to a trusted adult about their feelings. Al sings the “Lots of Feelings” song to remind the children that any feelings they have are ok – there are no right or wrong feelings.

Flip the Lens: Magical Moments Hidden Beneath These Stressful Times

Despite the Stress and Worry, Try to Focus on Opportunity

We all worry when we face uncertain times.  That is more true today than ever, as our daily lives have changed due to the coronavirus.  We are concerned about our family’s health, mental well-being, and what the future will hold.  Amidst these concerns and the unprecedented worldwide situation which we are figuring out hour by hour, I am awed by the thought that this is potentially a meaningful time for children’s memory-making.

Even with our added stress these days, we have a unique opportunity to create strong, positive memories for our children. While being home with children for weeks on end can be exhausting, overwhelming, and even frustrating, this time together as a family can result in new connections and positive experiences. Let’s focus on encouraging imagination, creativity, and play skills – for them and for each other.

Most young children won’t remember details about the virus.  They will remember how we made them feel and how we engaged them.

While young children need consistency and routines, give yourself permission to also be spontaneous and playful with them.   It will be good for you and for them – and help relieve stress.

Family Time Can Create Lasting Positive Memories

Years from now when your children look back at this unusual time in their lives, they will likely hold onto the funny, creative experiences they had and the special time they spent with you….

  • “Remember that time when school was closed for SO long, and we had so much energy at home, and then you got annoyed, and then we all started laughing together, and it was hilarious?”  An indelible happy memory.
  • “Remember that time when we went on walks each day and we waved to neighbors we usually didn’t see? Yeah, that was kind of neat. Oh, that’s when I realized so-and-so lived so close to   us!”  Everyone is affected, humanity is one.
  • “Remember that time when we were kids and we made up a new language? It seemed like you didn’t like it, but we had a blast and it was so funny.”  Sibling connection.
  • “Remember when it rained a lot one week when we had to stay home? You let us do things we usually didn’t do.  We put a blanket on the floor and had an indoor picnic.  And you let us make  a cool obstacle course inside.  That was so fun!”  Bringing outdoor fun inside and permitting things that are usually not allowed but still safe.
  • “Remember when we went for a walk down the street and saw a family with little kids on their porch? One girl had a frisbee on her head.  She and her brother made up a game of running   from one side of the yard to the other, trying to keep the frisbee on their head.”  Boredom can lead to creativity and innovation.
  • “Remember when our whole family decided to only move like a certain animal for as long as we could that day?  You flapped wings like a bird, my brother slithered like a snake, and I hopped like a bunny. That was hard… but hilarious!”  The power of silly family time.

Perspectives Will Differ; Hold onto Hope!

I know every person has a different concern, a different perspective, and a different situation.  Different sets of coping mechanisms, different types of support networks.

I just hope we can all find a positive angle, maybe just one each day, to shift our worldview or our own use of time, connections, and resources.  Maybe this is a chance to change the world for the better!

Carry on, friends. Be well and I wish health and safety for all of you.

 

About Our Guest Blogger

Lisa has been in the field of early childhood for about 15 years, working with children 8 years and younger in Richmond, VA, Washington, DC, and Boston, MA. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, a master’s degree of Early Childhood Education (PreK-2) from Lesley University, and a Post Master’s Certificate in Early Childhood Practice, Policy, and Research from University of Massachusetts in Boston.  Currently she works at the Weinstein Jewish Community Center in Richmond, VA as the Early Childhood Curriculum & Professional Development Director.  She is aunt to four fantastic nephews and one incredible niece.

COVID-19 Support

Our child-friendly videos provide emotional support to help children cope with daily life and the feelings they may be having during the Coronavirus health crisis.

 

To watch the videos please click here.