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56 Resources To Help Families During COVID 19

Resources for Clinicians and Families During COVID-19

 

As families have begun to negotiate how to incorporate working from home and providing academic support into their lives, the reality of how to effectively be a parent, worker, teacher and family administrator has taken hold.  In addition to the physical toll that the new responsibilities have taken, the emotional tax and uncertainty of keeping families healthy, managing financial concerns and the overall question of when lives will return to ‘normal’ has taken root.  In addition to parental anxiety, unsurprisingly, kids bring their own fears to the pandemic that can be exacerbated by their changed world as well.

One of the most challenging aspects of a crisis that affects an entire family is how, as a parent, to manage the crisis for yourself as well as mitigate the anxiety for your children.  Often, that approach can shift dramatically depending on the age of the child.  With the current pandemic challenges, providing accurate information, easing anxiety and answering questions can be as challenging for parents as it is for responding to their child’s, preteen’s and adolescent’s inquiries and fears.  As a general guideline:

parents photo

  • Use what you know about your kiddo as a guide to approaching them about a crisis

Where some kids tend to be relieved with less information, others have their anxiety quelled through research and answering every detailed question.  Often, kids in the family process information in varied ways.  Tailor the delivery and amount of information to how your child processes anxiety-inducing news.

 

  • Ask about their questions and fears

Allow for time and space to understand the areas where they are experiencing anxiety.  It can be difficult to tolerate questions where we (or anyone!) does not have all of the answers, but knowing what their fears are allows us to understand and validate how scary it can be to not have all the information or control about the crisis.  Always leave opportunities to circle back and continue the conversation……

 

  • Approach them in a developmentally appropriate way

According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Foundation, kids will exhibit different behaviors and benefit from age appropriate responses.  In times of crisis or trauma, preschool children may be afraid to be alone, have bad dreams and exhibit clingy behaviors versus being able to articulate their fears, whereas school-aged kids and preteens are more likely to show social changes in their friends, interests or interactions with their parents.  Adolescents are more likely to isolate, shift interests, demonstrate apathy, have a decrease in energy or show academic decline.  Parents of preschool kids can be immensely helpful through patience, tolerance and providing reassurance and shielding kids from a lot of anxiety-inducing information.  School-age and preteen parents should be attempting to facilitate conversation about their child’s worry and promote healthy activities such as social interaction through Zoom/Facetime, exercise and continuing to maintain a typical structure and schedule that is predictable and familiar.  Parents of teenagers should encourage discussion of the outbreak and help them engage with family activities and prosocial interactions with parents, friends and assist in supporting members of the family, particularly younger siblings.

 

family photo

 

Negotiating the struggle that parents face in providing academic support and a reasonable structure for their child/children has been an area that schools and clinicians have tried to provide guidance.  When we consider what both kids and their parents are missing as a result of the current work and school restrictions, it is analogous to creating a second job for kids attempting to remain physically and socially active and parents working to manage their professions in varied and often unfamiliar environments.  The unspoken challenge for many families is how to create a new, realistic and fulfilling routine where everyone can manage their new responsibilities while trying to avoid the potential conflict that additional time, less space, a changed routine and fear can bring.

 

This is where supporting socialization through online platforms such as Zoom can be important while establishing a stable, structured time for school-based and non-academic activities or exploration is integral.  While it can be very easy to allocate additional time to digital devices and solitary activities and less time for behaviors that are the foundation for a child or adolescent’s emotional regulation (think healthy sleep hygiene, balanced eating and exercise), times of prolonged and increased anxiety necessitate purposeful attention to structure and activities that balance our mood and affect.  That goes for parents as well – remember that parent stress and fear can be transactional and negatively impact our kids even when adults have the best of intentions to support their kids in times of crises.

 

New individual and family-based learning and exploration can be a fun way to help bond families, particularly during a crisis.  Unfortunately, most exploration has been severely hampered by the restrictions aimed at corralling the virus.  However, just as places of employment and families have discovered various online platforms to stay connected professionally and personally, destinations and companies who help serve our fun, extracurricular needs have brought many of their activities into the homes of bored individuals and families.  Here is a comprehensive list divided by age group as well as by type of activity.  In the spirit of community, please pass along other virtually accessible activities that could be added to this list.

Top 10 Virtual and Activity Sites for Any Family or Family Member to Explore

https://samsungvr.com/channel/590c6f1ab0a8c2001a4aaaf2 (Amazing virtual and virtual reality tours of international cities of interest)

https://artsandculture.google.com/project/street-view?hl=en (Largest collection of virtual and street tours in the world)

https://www.youtube.com/user/Sing2Piano (Karaoke site with popular songs set to piano

https://artsandculture.google.com/search/streetview?project=national-park-service (Tour more than 100 national parks around the world virtually)

https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals/live-cams (Some of the most beautiful live aquarium cams available 24/7)

https://www.tenpercent.com/  – Guided meditation app with very varied speakers/exercises

https://artsandculture.google.com/partner?hl=en Comprehensive guide to online museums and art collections listed by institution

http://buddymeter.com  (an interactive tool between friends to see how well you know each other)

https://www.broadwayhd.com/ (Stream Broadway plays for 30 cents a day)

teenagers photo

Preteens/Teens

https://www.youvisit.com/collegesearch/  (virtual college campus visits)

http://www.pollsgo.com  (an interactive way to create polls and tally answers between friends)

http://buddymeter.com  (an interactive tool between friends to see how well you know each other)

http://dowerapport.com  (a fun way to see what characters friends are most similar to)

https://www.teachingwithtestimony.com/virtual-field-trip (Teaching tolerance and acceptance through history)

https://artsandculture.google.com/partner?hl=en Comprehensive guide to online museums and art collections listed by institution

teenagers photo

Kids

https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/the-white-house (tour the white house)

https://www.nps.gov/features/grca/001/archeology/index.html (Grand Canyon tour)

https://www.usgs.gov/science/science-explorer/overview (science exploration)

http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/immigration/webcast.htm (Ellis Island tour and activities)

https://www.sesamestreet.org/caring (Sesame Street activities for kids)

https://www.virtualdrumming.com/drums/online-virtual-games/vintage-drums.html (Virtual drum playing kit!)

https://www.nasa.gov/kidsclub/index.html (NASA kids online exploration)

https://girlsleadstem.com/virtual-field-trip/ (STEM activities and guides for 6-10 year old girls)

https://www.nasa.gov/stem/nextgenstem/commercial_crew/index.html (space exploration-based STEM projects)

https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals/live-cams (Some of the most beautiful live aquarium cams available 24/7)

https://www.neaq.org/visit/at-home-events-and-activities/ (Virtual New England Aquarium visits and lessons (live at 11 AM and archived)

https://kids.sandiegozoo.org/videos (San Diego Zoo live cams)

https://www.sdzsafaripark.org/ (San Diego Safari Park live cams and animal information)

https://www.nyphilkids.org/ypc-play/britten.php (kids NY Philharmonic Orchestra performances and activities

https://zooatlanta.org/panda-cam/ (Atlanta Zoo Panda Cam)

http://cincinnatizoo.org/home-safari-resources/ (Cincinnati Zoo live classes and animals – archived daily and live at 3PM EST)

https://www.georgiaaquarium.org/webcam/beluga-whale-webcam/ (Live Georgia Aquarium video feeds)

https://www.houstonzoo.org/explore/webcams/ (Houston Zoo live animal cams)

https://marinelife.org/homelearn/ (Live classes each day from the Loggerhead Marinelife Center at 2 PM weekdays and 11 AM weekends)

https://www.boeingfutureu.com/virtual-field-trips/space (Virtual Space Field Trip video)

https://www.denverzoo.org/zootoyou/ (Denver Zoo virtual safari and cams)

teenagers photo

Any age

http://www.museivaticani.va/content/museivaticani/en/collezioni/musei/cappella-sistina/tour-virtuale.html (Sistine Chapel)

https://samsungvr.com/channel/590c6f1ab0a8c2001a4aaaf2 (Amazing virtual and virtual reality tours of international cities of interest)

https://naturalhistory.si.edu/visit/virtual-tour (Smithsonian Museum virtual tours)

https://www.louvre.fr/en/visites-en-ligne (Virtual tours of The Louvre)

https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/rijksmuseum?hl=en (The Rijks Museum in Amsterdam)

https://artsandculture.google.com/project/street-view?hl=en (Largest collection of virtual and street tours in the world)

http://www.hockeyhalloffame.com/htmlExhibits/ex00.shtml (Hockey Hall of Fame Virtual visits)

https://www.royal.uk/virtual-tours-buckingham-palace (Virtual tours of Buckingham Palace)

http://attenboroughsreef.com/map.php?prompt=0 (Tour The Great Barrier Reef)

https://artsandculture.google.com/search/streetview?project=national-park-service (Tour more than 100 national parks around the world virtually)

https://www.broadwayhd.com/ (Stream Broadway plays for 30 cents a day)

https://www.metopera.org/ (At 7:30 PM each day, a new opera will be live streamed)

https://seattlesymphony.org/live (Live streaming performances from the Seattle Symphony Orchestra)

https://www.womenshistory.org/womens-history/online-exhibits (National Women’s History Museum online exhibits

https://www.moma.org/magazine/ (Museum of Modern Art’s Daily Exhibits and Articles)

https://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/vr/ (Virtual deep see diving)

https://www.youtube.com/user/Sing2Piano (Karaoke site with popular songs set to piano

https://www.youtube.com/user/Sing2GuitarChannel/videos (Karaoke site with popular songs set to guitar)

https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/solomon-r-guggenheim-museum?hl=en (Visit the Guggenheim Museum)

https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/american-museum-of-natural-history?hl=en (American Museum of Natural History virtual tours)

https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/the-art-institute-of-chicago?hl=en (Art Institute of Chicago)

https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/georgia-o-keeffe-museum?hl=en (The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum virtual visits)

https://www.museothyssen.org/en/thyssenmultimedia (Thyssen -Bornemisza national Museum)

https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/the-j-paul-getty-museum?hl=en (The J Paul Getty Museum virtual tour)

https://artsandculture.google.com/streetview/metropolitan-museum-of-art/KAFHmsOTE-4Xyw?hl=en&sv_lng=-73.9624786&sv_lat=40.7803959&sv_h=335.0285349959785&sv_p=0.9453475127378823&sv_pid=KeFx8oXHzeuY8L5rfepHaA&sv_z=0.6253222631835352 (Metropolitan Museum of Art virtual tours)

https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/museum-of-fine-arts-boston?hl=en (Museum of Fine Arts; Boston – virtual visits)

(Same lists as above, categorized by activity type rather than age)

hiking photo

Activities

http://www.pollsgo.com  (an interactive way to create polls and tally answers between friends)

http://buddymeter.com  (an interactive tool between friends to see how well you know each other)

http://dowerapport.com  (a fun way to see what characters friends are most similar to)

https://www.youtube.com/user/Sing2Piano (Karaoke site with popular songs set to piano

https://www.youtube.com/user/Sing2GuitarChannel/videos (Karaoke site with popular songs set to guitar)

https://www.virtualdrumming.com/drums/online-virtual-games/vintage-drums.html (Virtual drum playing kit!)

https://www.nasa.gov/kidsclub/index.html (NASA kids online exploration)

https://girlsleadstem.com/virtual-field-trip/ (STEM activities and guides for 6-10 year old girls)

https://www.nasa.gov/stem/nextgenstem/commercial_crew/index.html (space exploration-based STEM projects)

https://www.broadwayhd.com/ (Stream Broadway plays for 30 cents a day)

https://www.metopera.org/ (At 7:30 PM each day, a new opera will be live streamed)

https://seattlesymphony.org/live (Live streaming performances from the Seattle Symphony Orchestra)

meditate photo

Zoos/Aquariums

https://zooatlanta.org/panda-cam/ (Atlanta Zoo Panda Cam)

http://cincinnatizoo.org/home-safari-resources/ (Cincinnati Zoo live classes and animals – archived daily and live at 3PM EST)

https://www.georgiaaquarium.org/webcam/beluga-whale-webcam/ (Live Georgia Aquarium video feeds)

https://www.houstonzoo.org/explore/webcams/ (Houston Zoo live animal cams)

https://marinelife.org/homelearn/ (Live classes each day from the Loggerhead Marinelife Center at 2 PM weekdays and 11 AM weekends)

https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals/live-cams (Some of the most beautiful live aquarium cams available 24/7)

https://www.neaq.org/visit/at-home-events-and-activities/ (Virtual New England Aquarium visits and lessons (live at 11 AM and archived)

https://kids.sandiegozoo.org/videos (San Diego Zoo live cams)

https://www.sdzsafaripark.org/ (San Diego Safari Park live cams and animal information)

meditate photo

Academics

https://www.youvisit.com/collegesearch/  (virtual college campus visits)

https://www.teachingwithtestimony.com/virtual-field-trip (teaching tolerance and acceptance through history)

https://www.boeingfutureu.com/virtual-field-trips/space (Virtual Space Field Trip video)

https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/the-white-house (tour the white house)

https://www.nps.gov/features/grca/001/archeology/index.html (Grand Canyon tour)

https://www.usgs.gov/science/science-explorer/overview (science exploration)

http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/immigration/webcast.htm (Ellis Island tour and activities)

https://www.sesamestreet.org/caring (Sesame Street activities for kids)

museum photo

Art, Museums and Culture

https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/solomon-r-guggenheim-museum?hl=en (Visit the Guggenheim Museum)

https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/american-museum-of-natural-history?hl=en (American Museum of Natural History virtual tours)

https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/the-art-institute-of-chicago?hl=en (Art Institute of Chicago)

https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/georgia-o-keeffe-museum?hl=en (The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum virtual visits)

https://www.nyphilkids.org/ypc-play/britten.php (kids NY Philharmonic Orchestra performances and activities

http://www.museivaticani.va/content/museivaticani/en/collezioni/musei/cappella-sistina/tour-virtuale.html (Sistine Chapel)

https://samsungvr.com/channel/590c6f1ab0a8c2001a4aaaf2 (Amazing virtual and virtual reality tours of international cities of interest)

https://naturalhistory.si.edu/visit/virtual-tour (Smithsonian Museum virtual tours)

https://www.louvre.fr/en/visites-en-ligne (Virtual tours of The Louvre)

https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/rijksmuseum?hl=en (The Rijks Museum in Amsterdam)

https://artsandculture.google.com/project/street-view?hl=en (Largest collection of virtual and street tours in the world)

http://www.hockeyhalloffame.com/htmlExhibits/ex00.shtml (Hockey Hall of Fame Virtual visits)

https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/the-j-paul-getty-museum?hl=en (The J Paul Getty Museum virtual tour)

https://artsandculture.google.com/streetview/metropolitan-museum-of-art/KAFHmsOTE-4Xyw?hl=en&sv_lng=-73.9624786&sv_lat=40.7803959&sv_h=335.0285349959785&sv_p=0.9453475127378823&sv_pid=KeFx8oXHzeuY8L5rfepHaA&sv_z=0.6253222631835352 (Metropolitan Museum of Art virtual tours)

https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/museum-of-fine-arts-boston?hl=en (Museum of Fine Arts; Boston – virtual visits)

https://www.royal.uk/virtual-tours-buckingham-palace (Virtual tours of Buckingham Palace)

http://attenboroughsreef.com/map.php?prompt=0 (Tour The Great Barrier Reef)

https://artsandculture.google.com/search/streetview?project=national-park-service (Tour more than 100 national parks around the world virtually)

https://www.museothyssen.org/en/thyssenmultimedia (Thyssen -Bornemisza national Museum)

https://www.womenshistory.org/womens-history/online-exhibits (National Women’s History Museum online exhibit

meditate photo

Yoga, Mindfulness and Meditation resources

https://www.headspace.com/   Mindfulness app

https://www.calm.com/   Mindfulness app

https://www.tenpercent.com/ Mindfulness app

https://insighttimer.com/  Mindfulness app, diary and timer

https://www.yogaanytime.com/index.cfm –  Over 2,500 Online yoga and meditation videos

https://www.glo.com/  – Yoga, meditation and pilates online self-directed classes

https://www.simplehabit.com/  – Guided meditation app with very varied speakers/exercises

 

 

56 Resources To Help Families During COVID 19


Jim Holsomback

Jim Holsomback (MA; ABT) is the director of clinical outreach for McLean Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts and program director for Triad Adolescent Services, located in Lexington, Massachusetts. He has more than 20 years of experience working with adolescents and families struggling with anxiety, depression, substance use disorders and self-injury. Jim has a vast amount of experience teaching and supporting families struggling to identify ways to establish effective family systems as well as presenting in regional and national trainings and conferences on topics such as contingency management, digital and substance dependence and supporting parents of preteens and adolescents struggling with self-harm & suicidality.


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APA Reference
, . (2020). 56 Resources To Help Families During COVID 19. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 6, 2020, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/practical-parenting/2020/03/56-covid19-resources/

 

Last updated: 27 Mar 2020
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network (blogs.psychcentral.com) prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.