Dancing Into Parenthood

Caring for a Child With Disabilities Under Quarantine

June 1st, 2020   admin  Uncategorized   No Comments »

Being a Parent of a Child with Disabilities has it’s good and bad days. Connecting with resources to help manage the daily activities or finding support may have been more challenging than usual during this time. What is most important is to be present with your child. Have you considered the following?

  1. Have a daily plan. I am sure that you have already heard how children thrive with structure. That is because children generally do better when they know what to expect. Establishing a routine, gives your child a sense of security. Use a white board to plan your day the night before and if possible do this together with your child.

  2. Although there may have been a lag due to the quarantine, your child should still be getting services from therapists etc… If the services have not resumed then reach out to insurance providers and your school district.

  3. Technology can be a useful tool with plenty of educational youtube videos that can be accessed from the computer or tablet.

  4. Does your child need outdoor time? We all benefit from fresh air and vitamin D from the sun. Of course don’t forget to use sunscreen and keep hydrated while you are outside.

  5. Having a colorful healthy diet is so important for kids. Incorporate fruits and vegetables daily. Try new recipes if your child doesn’t seem interested in healthy options. Can you try picking something out together or cook together? Making it fun and getting your child involved usually helps to get them interested in trying new foods. This is also a great way to get your vitamins and nutrients.

  6. Having reliable caretakers are important for both parent and child. Having a caregiver to provide care for your child gives you some time to run errands and gives you the time you need to care for yourself.

  7. When you can’t be outside, make the indoors fun by playing games and turning on some music. Try using household items like pots and pans for instruments and provide sensory play with different textures etc…

  8. Do you have a plan for the summer? Many camps may be closed but this means that you should have a plan to try new crafts and look for virtual summer camp classes.

  9. When things get overwhelming and you need a mental break or have to catch a breather have you arranged to have a partner to help? Who is part of your support team? Balancing life can be challenging and there is no shame in admitting that you need help. Which resources do you have for yourself? Have a plan so that you don’t get burnt out.

  10. If there are other children in the household make sure you get them involved in the care and especially to make it fun!

What Parents Need to Know About COVID-19 and Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children

May 23rd, 2020   admin  Uncategorized   No Comments »

Many parents have been calling me worried about the new findings in kids with COVID-19 called Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). It is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.

First let me reassure you that most children are not affected by the coronavirus, and reports of children who become seriously ill remain rare and unusual cases. We are working hard to uncover more information, scientists around the world are working hard to understand this syndrome and how best to treat it. There are some symptoms which is similar to another Condition we know about called Kawasaki Disease but there are also some differences.

What we are advising parents is if your child has tested positive for the Covid 19 virus or has been exposed then watch out for the following symptoms: • a fever lasting more than 24 hours

  • Blood shot Eyes
  • abdominal pain, diarrhea or vomiting
  • rash or changes in skin color
  • trouble breathing
  • your child seems confused or overly sleepy

If any of these symptoms develop you should be calling your child’s Pediatrician immediately. Your Pediatrician will be able to consult you on whether or not it is time to come into the office or go to the Emergency Room.

Doctors may do certain tests to look for inflammation or other signs of disease. These tests might include:

  • Blood tests
  • Chest x-ray
  • Heart ultrasound (echocardiogram)
  • Abdominal ultrasound

Most children who become ill with MIS-C will need to be treated in the hospital.

Of course we all want to know how to protect our children from COVID-19

Based on what we know now about MIS-C, the best way you can protect your child is by taking everyday actions to prevent your child and the entire household from getting the virus that causes COVID-19.

Stop looking at quarantine as some kind of jail sentence

May 7th, 2020   admin  Uncategorized   No Comments »

Stop looking at quarantine as some kind of jail sentence, mindset is everything! If you have a positive mindset you will get through this period of time in your life better and stronger than ever! Why don’t you get into the right state of mind and call this your period in the cacoon? Don’t you want to emerge like a butterfly once this is all said and done? Although this may seem like it has no end date because one hasn’t been predicted yet there sure is some light at the end of this tunnel. Use this precious time for self reflection and figuring out what you really want to do with the rest of your life.

Take this time to connect with your yourself and your family. Learn to be present as a parent and partner. Try the heart meditation, https://youtu.be/NxmNmy4NhqM. Give love to yourself first so that you can give your love to others in a more freeing way. Touch your chest and feel your heart beat, close your eyes and focus on your breath. Feel the energy that your body is producing, the warmth, the love, the joy. Breathe in love and exhale forgiveness. You need to learn how to give yourself love first! Learn the kiss meditation and do it as a family. Put your right hand on your partners heart and left hand on top of your partners hand and start by taking slow inhales and exhales first with the eyes closed and feel the heart beat and the chest rise and fall. After a few breaths open the eyes and gaze into the windows of the soul and continue breathing. This will help release oxytocin which is the bonding hormone, it is naturally released during breastfeeding, and sex. This is an amazing meditation to promote family connection. Do this with your children and with your partner. Having a great connection with the people that you are quarantined with is Essential! If you have a good connection as a family your home environment will be more peaceful and your communication will be better with one another. If you plan on thriving at home during the quarantine without killing one another my advice is to work as a team!

Trying to balance working from home and distance learning has been quite a challenge. It does take some time to figure out what works for your family. Here are some tips to make the weekly schedule flow for everyone.

  1. Keep to a routine and have structure: wake up and go to sleep at the same time each day, have time for eating and cleaning up ( give everyone chores that they are responsible for and make them accountable to completing their chores) together as a family or independently if kids are older.
  2. Let your children pick out a name for their new school.
  3. Give kids control to make decisions in their schedules: make the schedules together ( this may need to be adjusted daily, depending on conference calls and zoom meetings) make them feel apart of the family team. Make adjustments to the schedule the night before.
  4. Have a visual schedule whether that is a white board, a chalk board etc.. where schedules are visible for both work and learning and be flexible with play time, children need lots of play time. If possible make learning fun through play.
  5. Make work spaces comfortable for yourself, use aromatherapy, have some greenery (succulents are small and easy to take care of), music, your favorite planner, candles or crystals!
  6. Have fresh fruit and healthy snacks available and keep hydrated. Keep snacks at eye level for the little ones, things Like hummus and carrots are great healthy snacks.
  7. Have honest conversations about what your work day looks like including virtual meets etc, with your kids so that they understand your need for quiet Kids can feel like they are in control of having an activity or distraction so that you can attend to your work duties. Also you can leave a message board so that they can still communicate with you during your work time.
  8. Have a corner or area that is dedicated to relaxation, if possible have a separate kid corner allow them to decorate it and have things that are calming or soothing in those spaces. This is a space that should be utilized before anyone loses their shit, lol. You can have some aromatherapy there, stress balls (play doh), gratitude journal, drawing pad and crayons. Decorate the space with positive mantras that are helpful ( I am kind, I am peaceful, I am generous, and I am helpful). Play some soothing music. https://youtu.be/WUXEeAXywCY. Have a pillow to sit and breathe. Some kids require some movement I love cosmic kids for this one, https://youtu.be/KMY2pMsLiJw
  9. Everyone needs time to rest, rest time should be respected. If your children still naps maybe that is the time you can rest for a little bit, but I also want to add that, nap time can be a time to get stuff done, no need to keep the house silent.
  10. Have family meetings and get input from everyone about what is working and what isn’t working and figure out solutions together.
  11. Have fun as a family, have creative time to journal, paint, listen to music or have a dance party (use Go Noodle or Indoor Recess). It’s important to not be all work and no play, we all need balance.
  12. Have time to socialize with family and friends, virtual play dates are important especially if your child is an only child.
  13. This one may be challenging right now but Try to limit screen time to no more than 2 hrs daily. The blue lights interrupt the sleep cycle.
  14. If it is at all possible, switch up work spots just to give yourself a different visual.
  15. If you do not have an outdoor area to enjoy then bring the outdoors into your space by listening to nature sounds such as birds singing or beach waves. https://youtu.be/2G8LAiHSCAs

On days off maybe you can pamper yourself! Have a spa day, give each other massages, have a nice bath or shower, facials, mani/pedi, yoga and meditation! Listen to your favorite podcast ( Listen to my Podcast “Dancing Into Parenthood”. Episode 12 on Incorporating Mindfulness into your daily life) or catch up on your favorite show or book. Bring out those old board games and get competitive!

Let everyone have alone time too. Some people require more alone time than others so each family member should have the ability to voice how much alone time they need and this needs to be respected. Mothers especially are deprived of this privilege so maybe mom can be given prioritization.

Make time to talk about this new normal life and validate everyone’s feelings. Make your child feel safe! Let them know what they are in control of like: washing their hands, wearing masks to protect ourselves and others, working out and eating healthy to keep our immune systems strong, taking daily vitamins and staying home keeps everyone safe.

Make time to enjoy good weather and get some sun and fresh air! If you can’t physically go outside then maybe you can sit by a window.

At dinner times have conversations about what each person is grateful for, that day. Remind everyone that you are blessed to be healthy, that you have one another, that you are able to stay safe at home. That we have technology to connect with our friends and family.

If you are dealing with loss or are feeling overwhelmed seek healing with a mental health professional. You can find a mental health professional through your health insurance company. Most professionals are accessible virtually through telemedicine. If you do not have health insurance then most states are also offering free programs for mental health( in NYC https://thrivenyc.cityofnewyork.us/nyc-well ). This may be especially important for kids that had very social lives before the quarantine or even kids that are missing out on major milestones in their lives like proms, graduations or sweet sixteen parties.

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