Like many parents and providers, I am concerned about children transitioning back to childcare after being at home for several months. We are aware that our children are entering a vastly different world than they are used to due to new recommendations and regulations for childcare. As a parent of a two-year-old and another due in August I have been brainstorming ways to help my child prepare for new expectations. My toddler has no concept of social distancing. Children are wired for connection not distance. I want to continue to encourage connection with others because it is essential to his social and emotional well-being. Due to our current situation I am also left with the daunting task of trying to teach a toddler about safety from an unseen “troublemaker” without making him terrified and anxious. Will my child adhere to all these expectations without opposition? I am an adult and I do not want to do it all the time, so I do not have the expectation that my toddler is going to want to either. I recognize that developmentally he is in a stage of exercising his own independence and learning to have a voice. My child will not be reprimanded for trying to hug a friend or going within two feet of an individual. I will try to teach him other ways to connect with the person safely instead. He will not fully understand why things are different. It is different and uncomfortable, but we will do our best.
I want to share with you some of the resources I am and will be using to teach my child fun and safe ways to connect with others, while also learning about safety and the expectations he will have in environments outside of our home.
Awesome story teaching younger children about COVID-19 in a developmentally appropriate way! https://www.mindheart.co/descargables
Songs teaching handwashing and personal space