Sabol Offers Advice for Caregivers During COVID-19

Sabol Offers Advice for Caregivers During COVID-19

Terri SabolTerri Sabol with students in the pre-social distancing era. Making a daily schedule can help both parents and children adjust to learning at home during the coronavirus pandemic, said School of Education and Social Policy assistant professor Terri Sabol, an expert in early childhood development.

In an interview with Lee Gains of Illinois Public Media, Sabol offered several tips and resources to help caregivers and students adjust to the new reality.

“Have a morning meeting and say, ‘OK so what’s our schedule going to look like today,’” said Sabol, a developmental psychologist. “Break up the day into chunks in ways that are aligned with what kids would be doing in school (at that time) anyway.”

Sabol, a former first grade teacher, researches how classrooms, families, and neighborhoods each play a role in a child’s developmentHer Development Early Education Policy (DEEP) Lab at Northwestern examines how social issues affect low-income children and families both inside and outside the classroom.

Sabol also recommends prioritizing interactive screen time over time spent passively watching TV and breaking up the day with activities like arts and crafts projects, children’s yoga and dance, or taking a walk in the neighborhood or backyard.

Talking to kids about the coronavirus is critical because they are listening – even if it doesn’t seem like it, she said. “Don’t instill panic in your kids --  just be tempered and responsible and humane,” Sabol said.

Sabol emphasized the importance of self-care and timeouts for caregivers who are tasked with educating and entertaining their children while schools are closed due to the coronavirus.

“The best case scenario is includes intense short periods where you are all in with your children, and intense periods where you are all in on yourself rather than the sort of murkiness… where you’re neither sort of caretaking for your child or caretaking for yourself,” she said.

Read the entire article, What Caregivers Can Do With Kids Home From School Due To Coronavirus Closings, on WILL-AM-FM-TV-Online.


By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 3/30/20