Maintaining ballet online during Covid-19 is pediatrician recommended!
“Keeping the kids minds engaged and occupied, and their bodies moving is very important in this current crisis,” says Greg Gelpi, MD (Pediatrician, Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health, Baton Rouge, LA)
Dr. Gelpi, pediatric specialist of 33 years, is uncle to one of our alumna students and was thrilled to learn that we are continuing our program online.
Some things for our parents to ponder…
We really feel like now is the perfect time for Ballet Center of Houston to shine in your child’s life. With all of the upheaval, it is important to keep some normalcy for the children. Below we have compiled some information with references posted below to help you as parents navigate these days to come with your child.
- Structure – Ballet class is a time of structure, not only during the class itself but ballet class lends structure to your day and week.
- Engage your children in constructive activities. Bored or frustrated children are more likely to act out. Many children have had their lives disrupted. They are out of school, and they can’t play with their friends. (1)
- Structure the day for learning, free time, healthy meals and snacks, and physical activity.(2)
2. Attention – Attention span is the length of time for which a person is able to concentrate mentally on a particular activity. Our ballet classes can help your child in this area. This is a skill built over time. The normal attention span of a pre-schooler is about 15 minutes. Don’t be discouraged if you child is distracted during class, this is normal. Re-directing and helping them get back on task is part of the learning process.
3. Discipline – Discipline in ballet class simply means learning, practicing and demonstrating expected behaviors specifically associated with ballet. Taking ballet class develops self-discipline of the body as well as critical thinking skills. (5) This is a skill that is valuable to your child in many areas of life.
4. Physical Education/health – Maintaining good health practices is important during this time of “stay at home” isolation. Ballet class offers not only a time for exercise, but gives parents ideas for how to incorporate activities from the class in daily breaks throughout the week
- Use indoor activity breaks (e.g., stretch breaks, dance breaks) throughout the day to help your child stay healthy and focused.(2)
- Build the immune system. Encourage your child to eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly; this will help them develop a robust immune system to fight off illness.(3)
- Build in activities that help everyone get some exercise (without contact with other kids or things touched by other kids, like playground equipment).(4)
5. Social interaction – Ballet class online offers your child an opportunity to maintain social interaction with other classmates as well as our instructors. Our online classes are interactive. This is not a passive video!
- Stay in touch virtually. Keep your support network strong, even when you’re only able to call or text friends and family. Socializing plays an important role in regulating your mood and helping you stay grounded. And the same is true for your children. (4)
- Technology can also help younger kids feel closer to relatives or friends they can’t see at the moment. (4)
- Establish and maintain a daily routine. Keeping a regular schedule provides a sense of control, predictability, calm, and well-being. It also helps children and other family members respect others’ need for quiet or uninterrupted time and when they can connect with friends virtually.(3)
- Keep routines in place. The experts all agree that setting and sticking to a regular schedule is key, even when you’re all at home all day. Kids should get up, eat and go to bed at their normal times. Consistency and structure are calming during times of stress. Kids, especially younger ones or those who are anxious, benefit from knowing what’s going to happen and when. (4)
7. Connections – We are offering your child a unique way for them to stay connected with their peers and mentors.
- Consider ways your child can stay connected with their friends without spending time in person.(2)
8. Staying positive – use ballet class as a means to give praise and encouragement.
- Catch them being good. Children need to know when they do something bad—and when they do something good. Notice good behavior and point it out, praising success and good tries. This is particularly important in these difficult times, when children are separated from their friends and usual routines (1)
- Focus on the positive. Celebrate having more time to spend as a family. Make it as fun as possible. Do family projects. Organize belongings, create masterpieces. Sing, laugh, and go outside, if possible, to connect with nature and get needed exercise. Allow older children to connect with their friends virtually.(3)
Tips for enhancing your ballet online experience
- Picture size – last week we were all adjusting to Zoom on our computers, iPads, or phones. Now it’s time to enlarge that image…. Consider casting from your smaller device to your TV screen or a larger monitor, how about running a cable between the two, do you have a LCD projector at home gathering dust somewhere? Dig it out and put our ballet teachers up on your wall!
- Sound – make the class louder with a bluetooth speaker
- Participation – moms and/or dads, why not take the class with your pre-school child? This will keep your child on task and engaged plus you get the added bonus of stretching, moving, and learning a thing or two in the process! For all students, make sure the dancer is in normal class attire, including a ballet bun, find a location as free from distraction as possible.
- Give them your attention. The most powerful tool for effective discipline is attention—to reinforce good behaviors and discourage others. Remember, all children want their parent’s attention. When parents are trying to work at home, this can be particularly challenging. Clear communication and setting expectations can help, particularly with older children.(1)
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