Parenting During A Lockdown
There is no doubt about it, our lives have changed, possibly forever.The lockdown caused by the Coronavirus has caused us to change the way that we do things and things may never really go back to normal. If you are struggling to parent during these tough times, maybe I can help.
Below are a few tips that you might consider to help you get through this tough period.
1) Develop A Routine
Kids need structure and routine. We all know how crazy things can get when you change nap time or the time they eat lunch. Well, with schools being closed, their normal routine is shot.
You need to replace your routine with a routine that works for the changing times. You might think that you should just let them enjoy the break but this is a huge mistake. Kids still need a time that they need to get up, work that they must do, play times, nap times and bed times.
Structure is the key to getting through this time, you do not have to try to replicate their old “school days” schedule, but come up with something and stick to it. For their sanity and yours.
2) Modify Your Work Schedule
If you are forced to suddenly work from home, you are probably finding that is is quite a challenge when you are surrounded by kids. You may have to modify the way you work.
Home schooling will occupy them at times but it also requires your participation. Try to switch your work to the hours before they wake and after they go to sleep.
Gone may be the times when you could bear down and work for hours at a time. You may now need to break down your work day into manageable 30 to 45 minute blocks. This will allow you to divide your time between your work and your kids.
3) Let Your Kids Reach Out (Digitally)
Children need interaction, whether that means with their friends or their relatives. As the lockdown goes on, they will miss these interactions more and more.
Help your kid to reach out with their friends and family digitally. If you have Apple devices, Facetime is a great native app that everyone is familiar with. If you are an Android user, try Skype or one of many other similar apps.
Try to let your kids use one of these services at least twice a week so that they can stay in the loop and continue to feel part of an extended family.
4) Get Them Some Exercise
A tired kid is a happy one. Kids need physical activity and it can be all too easy to settle in to the lockdown and not give it to them.
When possible, get them outdoors, while maintaining social distancing of course. Avoid playgrounds and areas with public seating. You want wide open spaces like fields and even nature trails.
If the outdoors is not possible, look for ways to entertain them inside. My advice, let them bounce. Small and inexpensive trampolines are a hit with small kids and if you are prepared to spend a bit more, you can even look into a bounce house. Bounce houses can be had on places like Amazon for well under a couple hundred dollars. It is an investment that I have made and it is paying dividends, huge ones.
5) Don’t Forget Art
When your kids are at school, they usually have a little arts and crafts time, particularly small kids. It is very easy to stick to a home schooling or online education plan and forget about the art.
Try to give your kids time each day to do a little artwork. That could be simply coloring a picture or it could be full blown crafting with paper towel rolls, pop-sickle sticks, glue, paint, etc.
Whatever the case, let them be creative.