Q&A | How are you handling the spread of coronavirus?

I know you are already inundated with the news on COVID-19. But we are going to talk about it a little here today too--I'm taking a question from an audience member wondering how we are handling it in our family.

Show Notes/Links

Kid's Podcasts

Hi there and welcome to episode 202 today I'm answering the question. How is our family handling the spread of coronavirus? Hi, this is Denaye. I'm the founder of Simple Families. Simple Families is an online community for parents who are seeking a simpler more intentional life. In this show, we focus on minimalism with kids, positive parenting, family wellness, and decreasing the mental load. My perspectives are based in my firsthand experience, raising kids, but also rooted in my Ph.D. In child development. So you're going to hear conversations that are based in research, but more importantly, real life. Thanks for joining us.

Hi, thanks for tuning in. Here we are at episode 202. And in this episode today, it's Tuesday. So this is our shorter Q and A format episode. If you're new to these in the first half of the episode, I share something simple that I'm loving. And in the second half, I answer a question from an audience member. And today I'm answering a question from Sarah on Instagram who asked how I'm handling the fear and coping with the spread of Coronavirus. Let's go ahead and get started on something simple that I'm loving this week. Just a reminder that these are never sponsored. They're things I'm just authentically loving this week. I'm feeling extra grateful for our Green Kids Craft boxes. I will tell you that I'm a huge skeptic when it comes to subscription box services, mostly because I think that they can very easily turn into clutter.

So, if I'm going to do a subscription box, that has to be something that I really, really love. We've been subscribing to Green Kids Crafts for a while now and have really, really enjoyed the steam activities that they provide. So if you're not familiar with steam, that's science, technology, engineering, arts, and math each month incorporates one or two of those elements. We had been subscribing for a while, just for my kids and I to use together. I think that they're great activities to leave with a babysitter or a grandparent. Who's looking for something a little bit more direct to do with the kids. Each box comes with anywhere between five and seven little projects, and they're all focused around a theme and they're all very eco-friendly they're made from recycled products. Most of them are paper, so they are easily recyclable and they're thoughtfully put together.

So, we had been participating on our own using these boxes for quite a while, and then starting in January, we began using them in the homeschool co-op that I'm leading on Fridays. I am definitely not one for putting projects together, especially projects that contain multiple components. And I can attest that these are really easy and fun to complete individually with my kids and also in a small group setting too. So, to pull this off with a group, I had each of the families in the group order a box also. So we all have boxes and we're working together on them. Usually we complete one activity each week. If you're looking for ideas for birthday parties and gifts to give to friends and kids or friends, I think these are great. You can order individual boxes or you can do a subscription, but it might be good to have a few boxes on hand.

So when a birthday party does come up, you can gift one. And if you're brand new to them, they always have discounts and deals going right now. I think it's 40% off. So if you go to their website, you can find those links there. And I'll put a link in the show notes too. And again, that's green kid crafts. The website is greenkidcrafts.com. And that's the only subscription that I do with my kids right now. It comes once a month and I have found that it's very approachable and easy to get those things done so they don't build up. I don't have a lot of leftover stuff that I'm not using, and they're pretty much clutter-free and waste free, not a hundred percent, but they've definitely do their best. We've been home bound the past few days, which I'll talk a little bit more about in the second part of this podcast, but these have been coming in super handy for us.

So today, before we get into our Q and A segment, here is a quick 62nd word from our sponsor. The sponsor for today's episode is Better Help, Better Help is not a crisis line. It's not self-help, it's actually professional counseling done securely online as a licensed clinician myself. I had a lot of reservations about trying online counseling and therapy, namely the ability to authentically connect with a therapist virtually, but I've been trying it out. My husband and I have been doing their couples therapy. And I will say that I think online counseling and therapy can be really amazing. It brings a certain amount of accessibility that we as parents who often don't have childcare need. So, if this speaks to you and you feel like you alone, or you and your family or you and your partner may benefit, I'd say, check it out, go to betterhelp.com/simple.

That's better help. H E L P and can join over 700,000 people that are taking charge of their mental health. You'll get the help of an experienced professional and the special offer for Simple Families. Listeners is that you get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/simple. That brings us to our question for today. This question is coming from Sarah in the Pacific Northwest. She wrote, we are in Washington state and trying to decide whether to travel to Palm Springs in a couple of weeks. I'm super anxious, researching way too much, but I'm trying to focus on the parenting without fear part that I learned in the masterclass. I'm trying to weigh the risks any chance. You'll talk about this on the podcast. Thanks for your question, Sarah. Now I do want to start this off by saying, I am not a medical doctor. I'm not here to provide medical advice.

I'm really not here to provide any advice. I'm just telling you what we're doing as a family. We are in Westchester County, New York, which I believe at the time of this recording is second only to Washington state and the number of diagnosed coronavirus cases. So I feel you on being particularly nervous about traveling and really just venturing out period. Now I will say that I'm not a germaphobe and in general, I'm not really nervous for myself and for my immediate family about coronavirus because we're young and healthy. I think we're going to be okay, but I'm more focused on doing my part to make sure that my family is not contributing and introducing more germs out into the world for the people who are susceptible and for the people who are in danger. So my kids rarely get sick, but of course, right now they're sick.

They both started to get a runny nose on Thursday of last week. And over the weekend, we had a lot of big plans. My parents were visiting for my daughter's birthday. We had her birthday celebration planned and she had her very first gymnastics class scheduled for Saturday morning, which is something she's been dreaming of for a very long time. It was our gift to her. So Friday we gave her her Leotard and told her that we were going to be going to the class. The following morning. At this point, the runny nose was very, very minimal, barely even running just a little bit of congestion. And then of course, Saturday morning, she woke up and it was much more significant. And my husband and I had to make the very, very difficult decision of putting public health interests above the interest of our children, which I will tell you is not an easy decision to make.

We had to cancel the gymnastics class canceled the birthday party. My daughter was basically utterly devastated and gutted. It's not easy to keep our kids home and to make them miss out on things when they're sick, especially when the sickness is only mild. But right now I don't feel like any of us are in a place to bring even our mild sicknesses out and about into the community. Her devastation lasted for probably an hour or two, and she moved on and she ended up having a wonderful day. My parents were here celebrating with us. So we had a little mini, more intimate birthday party with just family. But anyone out there that is facing that same battle, I feel you saying no to our kids and having to miss out on things. It's not easy, but it is necessary, especially right now. So how we're approaching it in our family is we're keeping our germs home now regarding travel.

I do have some travel coming up. I have some filming planned in LA this weekend, and I was supposed to fly to LA on Friday. I'm feeling a little unsure about it, mostly because I'm unsure if I'm going to end up with whatever my kids have. So I'm going to play it out this week and see if I'm 100% feeling great on Friday. Then I'll go. If I'm not a hundred percent, then I'm going to stay home, which is really going to suck because I really don't want to miss it. I wrote about canceling the birthday party on Instagram and a couple of other people reached out asking for input. And my first words of advice, where if you have kids who are totally healthy right now, I don't necessarily think that you need to cancel it. But I do think it would be wise to move it outdoors if possible.

That was my original plan for my daughter's birthday party. When she first came down with a runny nose, I decided we were going to move it outside. And we were going to have a bonfire and roast marshmallows. And then of course on Saturday morning, in addition to the runny nose, we also received a notification that the state of New York has banned any kind of fire for the next month due to wind restrictions. But I think moving a celebration or a gathering outdoors, if everyone's healthy would be a much more preferred option at this point. So we are going to be home. We're going to be trying to play outside as much as possible. We're going to be reading books. I am planning on swinging by the library and getting a big stack of new books for my kids to read and get excited about real listening to a lot of podcasts.

I love kids podcasts, and I much prefer them over screen time. I think they add a little bit of a challenge when you're just listening to a podcast or an audio book, it really forces you to focus and to use your imagination, to imagine the scenes and to imagine the pictures, it's a way to relax and to sometimes sit still sometimes not, and still be engaged and have to work a little bit at it. So kids podcasts that we like, my kids are obsessed with story pirates, which drives me pretty much, totally crazy. We have a rule that we can only listen to story pirates on Thursdays because otherwise I'll basically lose all of my sanity, but they love it. Love it. Thursdays is when the new episodes come out, which is why I say only on Thursdays. They also really love Molly of Denali, which I think is a PBS show too, but there is a series and they do really like the stories podcast.

Another one that I've been dabbling in is rebel girls, which is a book series. They also have a podcast. Now, there are a lot out there, but hopefully this will help you narrow it down if you have decision fatigue. But yes, we're also doing some screen time and some movies. We rented frozen two and watched it again. And my kids have been listening to the soundtrack and dancing lot. Generally, even though they're not a hundred percent right now, they're definitely in good spirits. And another Testament to my something simple, our green kids craft boxes have been coming in really handy.

They're great to have right now. Just add a few extra activities. When do we need to break up these long days? So if you are staying home and trying to avoid germs, I totally understand. And if you have some germs that you're trying to keep at home, thank you for that. I think people all over the world will thank you for that. And that's what we're doing right now. Probably nothing groundbreaking, but I will tell you, I understand the battle that you might be having around keeping kids home when they're not all that sick, but I do think it's really important. Thanks for tuning in. I hope this has been helpful. And if you want to go to the show notes, you can go to simple families.com/episode202. Thanks for listening.

Denaye Barahona

Dr. Denaye Barahona is a loving wife and mama of two. She partners with families to tackle the challenges of raising children. Denaye is a minimalist who claims to be a decluttering expert (don't let her near your closet). She loves to travel, talk health-and-wellness, and give unsolicited advice. She has been featured on the likes of The Today Show, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, The Minimalists, Motherly, Becoming Minimalist, and numerous other media outlets. Denaye holds a Ph.D. in Child Development and is a Clinical Social Worker with a specialty in child and family practice.