Hot Topics     Home and Family    

4 steps you should take to help your kids stay connected



Create some stability for your family

COVID-19, kids, connected, family, pandemic, mental health


COVID-19 has created a lack of stability in our everyday lives. Families and particularly children are affected by the lack of structure and familiar activities. Without the usual supports provided by school-based programs and resources, there can be long-term loss of children’s social and emotional development.

This was reported in MSU Today, a website sponsored by the Michigan State University. Charis Wahman, an assistant professor in their College of Education, shares four research-based strategies to support your kids at home. 

These strategies have been developed for younger children who thrive on predictable, planned activities. You may want to give your teens more leeway for planning their daily schedule, as long at they meet goals relative to school and home responsibilities. For more information on teens mental health click here.

Families can create a more predictable environment for young children. The following strategies can help during these uncertain times.

1. Maintain a predictable family routine. For example:

  • Breakfast (Note: children can help with preparing all meals in age-appropriate ways)
  • Morning learning (learning alphabet, writing name or letters, learning numbers)
  • Reading time with a parent, sibling, or other relative
  • Lunch
  • Music time (dance or listen to music with a parent, sibling, or other relative)
  • Snack
  • Play a game, or outside with a family member
  • Dinner
  • Bedtime routine (take a bath, read a story, tell a story, etc.)

2. Have children help you create three or four guidelines for everyone in the home to follow (stated in the positive). For example:

  • Use loving words
  • Help with preparing and cleaning up after meals (set the table, put dishes in the sink, sweep the floor)
  • Play/Keep all toys in the (area in the home that you decide)
  • Lights out at (child’s bedtime)

3. Help children stay connected to friends, teachers, and family members through electronics and technology (i.e., phone, Skype/Zoom, video).

4. Take care of your own mental health as the primary caregiver by accessing support materials online and through sharing of responsibilities.

To help everyone in the household learn about establishing routine and home guidelines, the family should use social narratives or videos to teach the family routine and home guidelines. Children can help to write the story and/or be in the video demonstrating the family routine and/or home guidelines.

To model the family routine and home guidelines older siblings and parents can model the behaviors. Even a video of the child themselves demonstrating the family routine and guidelines is a type of modeling. Rehearse and role play the family routine and guidelines.

Finally, combine these strategies with an appropriate reward.



Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • 4 ways students can develop entrepreneurial skills

    Give your child a head start

    Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders. Young people who aspire to become prominent business professionals can now get a head start on the knowledge and skills necessary to become successful entrepreneurs before they ever leave high school. read more »
  • 6 natural ways to protect your health

    Remedies that your probably already have at home

    Natural and plant-based remedies have been around for centuries, and for everyday treatments like minor cuts, scrapes, and rashes, they can have real benefits. read more »
  • Why a healthier mouth equals a healthier you

    Take good care of your teeth

    Better oral health is strongly linked to better overall health, helping you speak properly, eat healthfully, and prevent certain infections and diseases. According to experts, it all starts with preserving your natural teeth. read more »
  • 8 summer driving safety tips

    Help avoid potential safety hazards

    Summer often brings vacations and road trips, which can put extra stress on your vehicle and one of its most important safety components: the tires. Higher pavement temperatures combined with normal wear and tear – plus added traffic volume due to summer travel – can contribute to potential safety hazards. read more »
  • Scrumptious ways to simplify summer meals

    Make weekday dining a breeze with easy, delicious recipes

    From everyday weeknight dinners to picnics in the park, warmer weather and longer days mean families want to spend more time together and less time in the kitchen. read more »
  • Supercharge summer fun with a sweet, simple salsa

    Your family will dive right in

    After a full day at the park or swimming pool, summer fun calls for some refueling. All that sun is sure to exhaust busy families, leaving little time for complicated snacks. read more »
  • Honey mustard cobb salad with tomato, avocado, bacon, egg and feta

    Empower your inner chef with convenient recipes and handy tools

    Bring joy back to the kitchen by taking the stress out of planning family meals, shopping for ingredients, and making your favorite recipes. read more »
  • Start your day strong with this strawberry oatmeal smoothie

    Six ingredients and a blender are all you need

    Making a delicious oatmeal smoothie has never been easier. Just six ingredients and a blender are all you need to make the perfect fruit smoothie at home. Deliciously sweet and creamy this strawberry oatmeal smoothie makes for a healthy and filling breakfast or snack. read more »
  • Running a local race?

    How to keep your feet healthy

    Whether you’re a novice jogger embarking on a couch-to-5K program or a marathoner serious about racking up finishers’ medals, you must take great care of your feet. read more »
  • Help kids avoid the “Summer Slide”

    Try the TurfMutt Foundation’s lesson plans

    Aligned with STEM standards, TurfMutt’s lesson plans teach kids valuable science lessons in the green space around them read more »