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


  • 5 tips to help you land a new job

    A solid interview can help you close the deal

    With so many job openings these days, you may think you’ll have an easy time sliding into a new role. Not so fast. Because of the huge number of options available and plenty of workers contemplating changes, you’re likely to encounter some competition to land the job you want. read more »
  • Healthy habits for your home

    5 tips to help you out

    If you’re like most Americans, health is an important aspect of your resolutions when each new year rolls around. While factors like diet and exercise are keys to healthy living, so are the ways you care for your home and belongings. read more »
  • 5 heart health tips for the holidays

    Keep your family safe during this festive season

    Food, drinks, gifts and time with family make the holidays a merry occasion for people across the country. However, all that celebrating can sometimes become a distraction from maintaining heart health. read more »
  • 10 health resolutions doctors encourage you to make today

    These actions you can take are some of the most important

    The New Year represents a fresh start and is the perfect time to invest in your health. However, you may be unsure what resolutions will have the biggest impact. Doctors say that the easy, tangible actions you take are some of the most important. read more »
  • 4 reasons to consider adopting a pet

    Pets can be a key source of comfort and joy

    More than 23 million American households added a four-legged family member over the last three years, according to data from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Through these trying times, pets have been a key source of comfort and joy – even improving pet parents’ overall wellbeing. read more »
  • Make a difference for children globally this holiday season

    Your gift can make a real impact for a child

    The most meaningful gifts are rarely the ones that can be wrapped and found under a tree. This holiday season, gifts can go beyond just thoughtful presents for family, friends and loved ones and can make real impact for children globally. read more »
  • Must-have tools for entertaining with ease this holiday season

    Having the right tools will set you up for success

    ‘Tis the season for gatherings galore. Whether you’re an all-star entertainer or a first-time host, having the right tools will set you up for success—meaning you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time with loved ones. read more »
  • 5 tips to ace college entry exams

    Prepping for ACT and SAT exams is crucial

    Because most colleges and universities require applicants to submit ACT or SAT results as part of admissions consideration, prepping for the test itself can be a critical component of that process. read more »
  • Fun ways to foster a love of music at an early age

    4 great ways to get your kids interested

    It’s never too early to encourage children to love to make and appreciate music. read more »
  • Festive recipes for hosting an inclusive holiday gathering

    2 delicious recipes for you to try

    Memories made and recipes shared are the trademarks of a successful holiday gathering, and this year, you can host your way to a practically perfect party with delicious dishes that resonate with the flavors of the season. read more »