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Dear Parents, Children, and Families:

 

I am sure that you have been reading a lot about mental health and the situation with the Corona Virus given that we all have to follow the recommendations from the CDC to have social distancing and to take the appropriate measures to help decrease the likelihood of contamination further. 

 

In light of the situation, you may have read many times that it is important to establish new measures in addition to following the requirements from the appropriate health and governmental authorities. But here are some other suggestions that I would like to remind you I a very simple way. You may have read these many times before, but it does not hurt to talk about them again because they have tremendous support and back up from empirical research in the area of psychology and family health:

 

1.     Establishing a new routine for your family is really important. Routine is always an important factor in family life, as it promotes better health and mental health. However, in times of crisis and of unpredictability, it is even more important to develop activities that promote a sense of control for you and for your children. Having a routine will decrease the likelihood of parents and children’s reactive actions as usually happens when people do not know “what will happen”, and “how long they will have to be at home”, or “how many more people were found with the virus in the city, the state, the country, and the world”. So, in addition to having a couple of hours of school work on line (for older children), it is good to establish time for exercise (even if it is at home as some families cannot leave their houses or apartments), for reading, for speaking with friends (for older children and, of course, adolescents), screen time (it depends on the ages of the children how much time one should be allowed to have) and for “down time” (when children may do whatever they want if that does not include additional screen time).

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