COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Going back to work can be hard on parents and children, especially after two and a half months of working from home, according to the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund.
The organization is providing helpful tips and solutions for families who find themselves in situations where children and adults are struggling with the change in routine.
One of the first things parents can do is talk to their children about the change in routine a week before the change happens.
“Anytime that you are preparing a child for a big change, or a big shift in routine, whether it’s a new school year, welcoming a new sibling to the family, or returning to daycare after being home for several months, it’s really important to start talking with our children ahead of time to prepare them for that shift,” explained Lindsay Williams, a representative with Ohio Children’s Trust Fund. “It will help them become more comfortable, it will help them know what to expect, and it will hopefully ease some of that separation anxiety, especially younger children who may experience that after being home with parents for quite some time.”
She says when discussing issues, parents should be as accurate, honest, and developmentally appropriate with their explanations as possible.
“The events of our world have precipitated lots of, I don’t want to say challenging conversations, but thought-provoking conversations between parents and children,” said Williams.
And as tough as life can be on adults, it is important to remember to talk about positive things happening during discussions with kids.
“It’s really important to be able to strike that balance and as parents, we want our kids to feel safe, to feel like they can trust their neighbors, their community, their world around them, and that will bring a kind of sense of security and a sense of peace to their life,” said Williams.
Finally, she says the transition can be difficult for parents as well.
“I’m sure many parents out there have had this experience even outside of the pandemic situation, where you take your child to drop them off at daycare for the first time and it is water works,” said Williams. “You have to be able to just reassure them, hug them, kiss them, kind of integrate them into the classroom and walk away quickly, almost like pulling off a bandage.”
If parents need help, they can check out the organizations website here.
“We have created on the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund website a COVID-19 response page, and that page is inclusive of articles, tips, resources for families and parents around navigating this pandemic,” said Williams. “We have created a specific resource guide for parents with lots of helpful tips and resources for them.”