How to keep your kids connected during the pandemic: 'Separation of us connecting physically in spaces has a real impact'

Learning from home may be stressing parents, but the children will be fine

Posted: May 13, 2020 11:05 PM
Updated: May 14, 2020 6:17 AM

Dr. Jenny Severson is an expert in educational psychology and is keenly aware that we parents are more than a little stressed out by our new role as home educators. She says children too are grieving the loss of connection they have to their friends and teachers after months away from school.

"The separation of us connecting physically in spaces has a real impact," the Twin Cities based Severson said during a FaceTime interview this week.

Severson says the online connections children are maintaining with their friends and teachers are important and should be appreciated.

"Even though they're connecting on a screen, the screen disappears when you have a relationship with people and you are connected and you feel you have a history, a connection of commonality."

Severson has watched her own children light up when they are able to connect with their friends online.

"There is an absolute boost in what I know to be dopamine and serotonin in their brains, in their demeanor, in their posture, in their facial expressions," she said earnestly. "How they're showing up!"

This reporter has more than a passing interest in the nuances of learning from home. My 8-year-old son, Colton, is sequestered on his grandparent's farm in Anoka County, learning from home. He is living his best cowboy life, riding horses, driving a four-wheeler, hitting golf balls and even baking with grandma. Severson says not to worry too much about whether he might be falling behind in his studies.

"He is going to have treasured memories from this experience," she said confidently. "What I want to let you know is that he will catch up with specific protocols, neuroplasticity is real. The brain changes with habits, habit stacking. So, as long as he's reading, doing his math facts, you're talking about an eight-year-old, like a third-grader. Just keep those simple things and then embrace the rest of what he's getting to experience with his grandparents."

Severson's expertise extends well beyond education. She is one of five women who teamed up to write a new book entitled "Thrive." The authors are from different walks of life, and believe that any woman can become a woman of action, overcome any obstacle, and scale any height. For more information about this book which chronicles tales of falling down and getting back up, just click here.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 758252

Reported Deaths: 8560
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1517551909
Ramsey62763976
Dakota56337523
Anoka53221514
Washington33236329
Stearns28036252
St. Louis23286353
Scott21359159
Wright20944170
Olmsted17894118
Sherburne15291114
Carver1342954
Clay1011798
Rice9886131
Blue Earth953059
Crow Wing9298105
Kandiyohi822796
Chisago820862
Otter Tail7868104
Benton7393109
Beltrami637177
Mower635340
Douglas618089
Goodhue608584
Winona605253
Itasca602380
McLeod583468
Steele574525
Isanti560073
Morrison546065
Becker521062
Polk503477
Freeborn482642
Nobles477952
Lyon447556
Carlton440966
Nicollet426451
Pine421130
Cass415942
Mille Lacs406765
Brown400947
Todd391836
Le Sueur380431
Meeker351552
Waseca323730
Martin318534
Wabasha28655
Hubbard284544
Dodge26939
Roseau260325
Fillmore238212
Redwood235643
Wadena231429
Houston229117
Renville225149
Faribault215730
Pennington213727
Sibley205112
Cottonwood194027
Kanabec187630
Chippewa186940
Aitkin179242
Watonwan169311
Pope15378
Rock153719
Yellow Medicine151720
Jackson144814
Koochiching137519
Clearwater133718
Swift132819
Marshall132319
Pipestone131927
Murray131510
Stevens122811
Lake106521
Wilkin100814
Lac qui Parle95724
Mahnomen87412
Norman8519
Big Stone7894
Grant7689
Lincoln7575
Kittson59922
Red Lake5789
Unassigned541124
Traverse5035
Lake of the Woods4574
Cook2430

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 467281

Reported Deaths: 6685
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk73698716
Linn28680379
Scott24441271
Black Hawk20130355
Woodbury18854242
Johnson17800100
Dubuque15577228
Pottawattamie14073197
Dallas13894107
Story1275148
Warren763496
Webster6876111
Cerro Gordo6816107
Clinton6814100
Des Moines657893
Marshall635484
Muscatine6294113
Wapello5807136
Jasper571478
Lee560787
Sioux560276
Marion499791
Buena Vista489745
Plymouth459187
Henry378647
Jones365160
Washington362255
Bremer353867
Benton352056
Boone344837
Carroll341753
Crawford337345
Mahaska313656
Dickinson297651
Clay274631
Buchanan274239
Jackson270445
Kossuth269373
Hardin266448
Tama261476
Fayette253848
Delaware253444
Cedar246326
Page244827
Wright240945
Winneshiek230837
Hamilton228553
Floyd216744
Harrison215277
Madison214325
Clayton210058
Poweshiek206840
Iowa204229
Butler203237
Jefferson197340
Mills197227
Allamakee192952
Cherokee191943
Lyon190641
Cass190557
Winnebago185432
Hancock184739
Calhoun184115
Appanoose175950
Shelby174239
Louisa169651
Grundy167937
Emmet163842
Franklin163328
Humboldt161826
Mitchell161843
Union159437
Chickasaw156418
Sac156323
Guthrie154034
Palo Alto140831
Clarke140028
Montgomery138941
Keokuk137534
Monroe131534
Howard125422
Ida116641
Davis113825
Greene113712
Lucas112224
Pocahontas109323
Monona107436
Worth10678
Adair103634
Osceola91117
Fremont83711
Van Buren82721
Decatur81212
Taylor78612
Wayne72024
Ringgold66827
Audubon64514
Adams4984
Unassigned150
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