Stand 1.5 metres apart from each other.
Avoid gatherings of ten or more people.
Give foot taps instead of handshakes …
Now these are all VERY important things to be doing right now, and most of us are. But if you’ve asked yourself, ‘How the heck do I teach social distancing to my toddler?’ then you are not alone.
Here’s all the ways our little kids did not get the government memo on this.
1. Overly enthusiastic hugs
“Noooo! Do not cuddle!” You might have screeched seconds before two chubby little bodies embraced each other and jumped around in unison like Tigger from Winnie-the-Pooh.
Little kids give the most precious, but also overly enthusiastic, hugs.
Back slaps? Meh, they think.
Better toss those clothes in the wash when you get home, Mama, and scrub those little hands STAT!
2. Sharing lollipops
Ewww. Why do our kids think that handing around their dripping saliva on a stick is a socially appropriate thing to do?
No more lollipops for now, kiddies! You cannot be trusted!
3. Vomiting on you
If your little one is ill with a vomiting bug, you can bet that you are her preferred place to regurgitate. Not the bowl you have so helpfully (and hopefully!) placed on her little lap.
Mums and dads cop spew. It’s just what we do!
Again, this is my space, this is yours …. not.
4. Dragging each other around
1.5 metres apart. LOL.
Try stopping two besties from dragging each other around the playground like puppies on a leash, I dare you!
Come to think of it, you are probably not visiting playgrounds right now. We aren’t either. But has your child’s childcare shut down yet?
Still lots of dragging going on.
5. Licking stuff they shouldn’t
We can stop babies from putting everything in their mouths, to a point. But this isn’t so easy when they find their walking legs and toddle off faster than you can yell, “Don’t lick the railing!”
Hmmm, so maybe those controversial toddler reins are not such a bad idea right now?!
In all seriousness
While the idea of social distancing and little kids might be laughable, there are a few things we CAN do. Like:
- Teach kids to wash their hands often and with soap. Tell them to sing two verses of ‘Happy Birthday’ while they do so. This will make hand washing fun and ensure they do a good job.
- Avoid visiting crowded playgrounds and especially indoor play centres.
- If you visit grandparents or older friends and relatives, remind little ones to wave instead of cuddle.
- Use the childcare hand sanitiser on you and your little ones when you enter and leave the centre.
- Wash their clothes as well as their hands, especially if they have been to childcare.
- Keep any sick little ones at home and self-isolate. We should do this anyway, but this is particularly important now.
- If your kids are older, chat honestly about the ‘virus‘ and what they can do to help minimise its impact – like washing hands, practicing social distancing and keeping healthy. This will make them feel powerful and that they are helpers, not spreaders in all of this.