A week ago I was the mom who’s kid didn’t have an iPhone, who’s kid wasn’t on social media, didn’t have a laptop and who was really good at navigating the parental controls on his Nintendo Switch. And in a matter of days, all that has gone out the window because just like the rest of us kids need to be connected during this unusual turn of events. Here are some ideas for keeping your kids connected when school is closed.
How to Keep Your Kids Connected during the Coronavirus
If you have a Facebook account for your kids you can download the Facebook messenger kids app to tablet or phone. The app lets kids safely video chat and message friends. Parents are able to approve friend requests and review messages.
Working from home I regularly use video conferencing programs. These are great ways to put a face to the name behind the screen. You can use video chatting software like Zoom, Google Hangout, What’s App or Facetime to chat with family members, grandparents, and friends. We did a Zoom chat with his grandparents this week and it was great to see each other. Virtual playdates (and wine nights for mom) are in our future.
I’m trying to take pictures of the kids every day to send to family. You can also have them take silly pictures to send to friends on messenger.
Unpopular opinion your kids need their screen time right now. My son has been playing a lot of Fortnite lately and while I don’t love the game I love hearing him talking with his friends and laughing and doing all the things a kid should be doing. It’s his way of staying in touch with his friends and he needs that right now.
My husband set my son up with my old computer and gave him his own login. Now he can sign on to do his school work and play many of the same games he played at school. He said playing the games reminded him of school and of his friends.
Yes, we are social distancing but that doesn’t mean we can’t go in our back yard together. I’ve been making time every day to make sure we get outside, get some fresh air and play together.
I feel like I have quickly turned my life upside down but I’m glad that I have been able to find ways to quickly keep my kids connected with their friends. These few tools have made this transition a little bit easier.