As schools are facing a shut-down and many workplaces shift to telecommuting, families find themselves stranded on what to do to entertain their children while under quarantine. While it is important to practice social distancing in times of crisis, being stuck at home doesn’t have to be a horrible experience. Use the time you have to build a stronger connection with your family and create memories that your children will cherish for years to come.
The most important thing it is to take care of yourself. One great way to keep your sanity while home with the kids is to maintain a loose schedule. Planning your day is a great way to ensure you are staying on track with your work and also give your children the structure they need thrive. It is important to keep the same schedule you would on any given day, especially in those critical transition times such as mealtime and bedtime. However, also be open-minded that even though there must be some structure, sometimes things may get off track, and things may not go as planned. Try not to stress yourself too much and be flexible when things don’t go the way it should. Go with the flow and be sure to be back to your routine once the situation is more under control.
Take a few short breaks throughout the day and use that time to connect with your loved ones. Sit down together for a meal and talk about any topic that doesn’t involve the next task on their to-do list. Listen to what your children have to say. As parents, it is easy to get caught up with to-do lists and forget that sometimes our kids need a break too. Letting our children talk about any topic they want to will help them release some steam, while also opening a line of communication between the two of you. Not only that, children who also feel heard are much more likely to comply with your requests when you need them to do something.
Another great way to build a connection with your family in times of social distancing is to gather everyone for game time. Life is all about balance and including play time after hours of work is extremely beneficial for the whole family. From board and card games to homemade games, such as bowling using empty cans or even a round of charades, spending quality time together will bring smiles and create fond memories.
Managing a full household while trying to get work done can be quite stressful. Practicing self-care and taking care of your mental health is important and will set a great example for your children. Most importantly, don’t be too hard on yourself and don’t be too hard on your kids. They are also feeling the stress of all the sudden changes happening in their environment. The way you handle the situation will show them how to make the best of a hard situation, build resilience and create memories that they will cherish forever.
For more great tips and ideas on staying connected during the stay at home order visit: https://preventchildabuse.org/coronavirus-resources/