Parents and Kids Navigating Covid-19: A Fireside Chat with Devorah Heitner

Parents and Kids Navigating Covid-19: A Fireside Chat with Devorah Heitner Apr 15, 2020


Tall Poppy recently hosted an online fireside chat with our CEO Leigh Honeywell and Dr. Devorah Heitner, author of the book Screenwise: Helping Kids Survive (and Thrive) in Their Digital World. We wanted to host this meetup as a resource for parents navigating COVID-19 with kids at home, and we are sharing our key take-aways below.

Learning at home is not the same as homeschooling. 

Homeschooling involves exposing kids to a wealth of experiences *outside* of the home: taking trips to museums, learning about science and nature by being out in the forest, and generally exposing kids to the world outside of the home. 

Parents and kids need brain space aka unstructured time

"What are we even doing?" has never been a more valid question to ask – and it's okay if you don't know the answer. It's okay to let kids spend time at play instead of trying to constantly be in "learning mode." They won't be behind their peers because everyone is going through the same chaotic disruption.

Remember: It's not you… it's that we are all living through a chaotic, global disruption.

  • Pretty much everyone's house is messier
  • Living with other people can feel chaotic and like the house is full of people all the time right now
  • We are all figuring out what it even means to have a schedule and routine in this environment
  • Some folks are dealing with family working on the front lines in health-care
  • People are falling ill with COVID-19 and convalescing at home, or supporting and thinking of loved ones who have fallen ill and are at a distance

Especially in the U.S., we are used to optimizing everything and finding the bright side. Although we are being inundated with ways to "make the best" of being at home, the reality is that we are living through a global disaster. Dealing with that weight absolutely includes keeping our kids going and helping them cope, but it also needs to include acceptance that things are not the same and giving ourselves and our kids the space to feel disappointed, sad or lonely at times. 

Here are a few resources: 

Our thanks to Dr. Devorah Heitner for joining us, and thanks to everyone who attended. The proceeds of the paid tickets were all donated to OnlineSOS, whose work we’re happy to support.. At Tall Poppy, we are working on figuring out what it means to stay safe online in a post-pandemic world. 

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