On October 18th, Boston Children’s Museum welcomed Dr. Khadijah Booth Watkins, MD, MPH to host a discussion at its 108th annual meeting on a topic that has been on the minds of parents and caregivers for over 18 months now: How can I support the mental health of my child amidst the many challenges and disruptions of the Covid-19 pandemic?
The end of the school year is upon us. We made it through. Or did we? Usually this time of year we’re looking forward to summer fun: days for slowing down, get togethers with friends and family, camp adventures, time off, the general vacation daze ahead. But while businesses begin to reopen and life slowly returns to some semblance of “normal,” as a working parent, normal still feels a long way off.
In August of 1918, the first cases of the Spanish flu hit Boston. The Globe reported last week in an interview with Jared Rhoades that museums and schools closed that same month. “They closed the MFA, the Boston Public Library, schools, bars, barber shops, theaters,” Rhoads, the debate program director at the Coolidge Foundation, said. “You name it, it was closed down.”
Boston Children’s Museum, however, remained open.
As the Health and Wellness Educator, I’ve been part of many conversations about how to best support children’s mental health during this difficult time. Parents, caregivers, and even educators are desperate for tips to meet the social and emotional needs of their children, who are missing their friends, teachers, extended families, and everyday freedoms. I’d like to provide an objective view on some of the tips and resources so many organizations have been sharing to help support children’s well-being during the pandemic.