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Helping Your Children Find Joy Post Pandemic

Joy comes to us in so many forms. Through relationships, travels, family gatherings and a myriad of other personal and intimate ways. In the year 2020, adults and children alike were robbed of their joys in order to stay safe. In what seemed like the blink of an eye, everything changed. The world became a very dark and scary place.

People around the world were forced into lockdown not knowing what Covid-19 would bring. For so many it brought isolation, fear, and career uncertainty. Our children paid a particularly high price as playdates, sports, gatherings and most importantly schools were shut down. Their world as they’d always known it ceased to exist.

In Spring 2020, when the earliest New York City schools opened part time, children were no longer used to in person school. For many other kids it would be nearly two years before they resumed in person classes.

During the 2020-2021 school year I was very involved in my school’s PTA, so I feel lucky that I got to spend time zooming with students and planning events for them as they re-entered the school building.

It appeared a large majority of the kids who were previously very outgoing, came back to school with the same outgoing personalities, like the pandemic wasn’t even a thing. But there were also a large number of kids who had become extremely shy following the lockdowns. Friend groups shifted and more one on one bonds were formed.

In addition to my own personal experiences that I have found helpful as our children readjust to so many things, especially school.

Here are some helpful tips to help your kids find joy and adjust back to school.

1. Goal Setting. Letting your children set their own realistic goals provides them with a sense of purpose and pride when they accomplish them! Remember your children are healing, so if they need more time to build to their goal list, let them have it.

2. Helping your child find Common Interests to connect with Friends. Letting your child explore what helps them stay connected.

Pre-pandemic, my son sometimes had 2-3 playdates a day. His social calendar really kept me on my toes. Now I see that he enjoys having a more lax routine. So we make goals for how many playdates we will schedule a week. Video games, sports, art are all ways for children to connect and bond. Digital art is also another way for kids to connect online. My son shares his digital art with his art text group and I am okay with that for now.

3. Focus on the positive. We all need to do this, but especially our kids. When your children start their day with positive affirmations, they are more likely to have a good day.

4. Stick with a Routine.

5. My Personal Tip – Continue to spend the quality time you had with your child during lockdown. My relationship with my son actually grew and I started to understand that for us the silver lining with Covid-19 is how being close to your family and your loved ones is all that truly matters.

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