How To Help Your Child Become Sociable And Develop Other Life Skills As They Learn From HomeThink your kids are “losing out” without regular school? Here’s how you can make up for it.CREATED WITH ENFAGROW A+ FOUR
While online learning allows our kids to continue studying in our homes’ safety during the current health crisis, being cooped up has limited the time they spend outdoors and their physical interaction with other children their age.
As a result, we can’t help but worry that without these—and for quite a long period now, at that—kids may already be “losing out” on the social and other life skills that can only be learned through experience. It’s the last thing we want for them.
In a recent episode of “Raising Smart Kids With A Heart,” a Facebook Live series by Smart Parenting and Enfagrow A+ Four, moms Vania Romoff and Marilen Faustino-Montenegro talked about how they helped their kids learn essential life skills at home.
Keep reading to find out how they were able to do it.
Engage kids through creative family activities.
With so much time being spent at home, moms have learned to be creative in engaging their children to learn while having fun.
Marilen, an interior stylist and nutrition coach, board games, movie night, and even videoke night help her kids stay active indoors.
“My daughter even came up with camping,” she added. “One time, we set up a tent in our living room, then we put the air mattresses inside the tent, and we all slept there.”
Likewise, Vania, a fashion designer, encourages her daughter to do fun activities inside the house, like hopscotch and Marco Polo. She even allows her to jump around the bed.
“It’s important to create these things for the kids so that they don’t get bored. If your kids are younger, you can create an obstacle course in the living room just for them to have fun and have something to look forward to while we are cooped up,” Marilen added.
She underscored that these family activities can be an avenue for creativity, expressing imagination, and simply enjoying life’s simple things.
Organize playdates, but be sure to follow safety protocols.
Recognizing the importance of personal interactions with kids their age, Vania and Marilen organize playdates to teach their children that there’s a world outside of their gadgets–but only with safety protocols in place.
The moms make sure to strictly follow quarantine protocols whenever they organize playdates with their kids’ “quarantine buddies,” and only invite close family friends they trust and are comfortable with.
Marilen talked further about how they do it. She said that it usually starts with parents agreeing with the plan and setting parameters for preventing the spread of the virus. Only when these are in place, do they proceed with arranging playdates with their “quarantine buddies.”
“As long as you’re careful and doing things properly, I think it can work out,” she said.
Vania has more or less the same experience as Marilen’s.
“We have family friends who we’ve been seeing for a while now. Like Marilen, we have the same parameters. It’s all about trusting these people, knowing that their household is safe and ours as well,” she said.
Vania also pointed out how this could encourage some semblance of interaction for their children, mainly because the kids of this generation need it most.
Recognize kids’ emotions.
Just like adults, kids experience the emotional impact of staying at home for a long time. Parents must recognize this to better understand their kids’ behavior better. For instance, when they don’t feel like participating in school or doing their assignments sometimes.
“[It’s important to give my daughter] that sort of reassurance that everything is going to be okay, that she will see her cousins and friends soon enough. Quite honestly, just the constant presence of her father and me is also a good thing because we’re all together. If she feels down, we’re right here,” Vania said.
On the other hand, Marilen tries to be sensitive when things like these happen to her kids.
“Sometimes, I just call it a light online school day. I don’t force anything rigid on that particular day because they’re feeling emotional. And so we have to address that. I believe in addressing the emotional aspect before the educational and the intellectual aspect of things.”
Encourage kids to eat well.
Offering well-balanced meals and snacks doesn’t just fuel your kids’ bodies but also allows for opportunities for parents to let their children take a break from studying and spend time with each other.
As a nutrition coach, Marilen makes sure that her kids eat natural sources of healthy carbohydrates like sweet potato, rice, and quinoa, and meat like chicken, seafood, beef, or other high-protein ulam.
“We also have our veggies. I try to teach the children that the more colorful they eat, the better and the healthier it is,” she added.
When it comes to drinking milk, Marilen shared that she serves it to her daughter warm–just how she likes it. She also shared how her kids have found a way to make a treat out of it.
“My kids don’t just drink milk. They love having papaya and then putting powdered milk on it. Or avocadoes, they’d sprinkle powdered milk on top also. It’s so good. They have those as their treats,” she shared.
Meanwhile, Vania demonstrates to her daughter what comprises balanced nutrition through portioning on her toddler plates.
“The big cut is usually where we put her rice because she loves rice. And I always tell our cook to put the protein and then the veggie. Kids naman usually have a healthy appetite, so it’s really about choosing the right food for them,” she explained.
She added how drinking milk is helping her daughter sleep well at night or in the afternoon, saying, “After dinner, it’s always milk. It’s part of her whole routine. Even in the afternoon before she takes her nap.”
Learn more ways on how you can help your child become more sociable and develop life skills at home by watching the full episode, titled “Unseen Challenges of Online Schooling: How to Care for Your Child’s Well-Being,” here:
The episode is part of the Facebook Live series of Enfagrow A+ Four’s “Raising Smart Kids With A Heart,” in partnership with Smart Parenting. This initiative aims to help parents raise smart, creative, and healthy kids as they thrive in the new normal.
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