As the COVID-19 affects everyone around the world, schools are shut down and offices are closed indefinitely to prioritize your health and safety.
This strategy made children stay home for days or even weeks, and parents such as yourself were jolted with the fact that aside from working from home, your kids will also be around the house, 24/7.
If you’re feeling like your world has been turned topsy-turvy, don’t worry, you have got a right to be. Having your kids around all the time while juggling home and work responsibilities will certainly take its toll on someone who is bothered with many things, the pandemic included.
Also, you are not the only one facing this dilemma. Your kids may feel the same way too. It is because aside from having to be with you all the time, your kids are isolated from their friends and they are frustrated with being cooped up all day.
WHY IS HAVING A ROUTINE IMPORTANT TO KIDS?
Stephen Dare, Head of Hong Kong Academy said that kids have found it challenging and quite isolating to be on home quarantine because they miss the chance to be in groups and to be sharing things in real-time.
Experts recommend that to make home quarantine feel a bit more normal for you and your kids, having a routine for your kids will be a big help. This will ensure that everybody within the family is on the know regarding working and school hours, playtime, chores, etc.
Ellen Mahoney, the head of Shift Mentoring, said that routines provide kids with a sense of safety.
“As educators, we all know the importance of creating a routine for youngsters,” she said.
Having a routine will help your kids focus on things they can control. This will make them feel productive and organized despite the home quarantine.
Scroll on to find out how you can make your home quarantine days more normal, structured, enjoyable, and perhaps even educational:
1. INVOLVE YOUR CHILD IN SETTING THE SCHEDULE
Many studies have shown that well-behaved children have high self-esteem, and perform well in class are the children of authoritative parents or parents who are receptive of their children’s inputs while at the same time setting rational limits. It is because your kids will be more invested in something they have a hand in creating. So when making your family schedule, get your kids’ input. Ask your child: “How do you want to spend your day?'”
2. ENSURE THAT THE KIDS MAINTAIN NORMAL WAKING HOURS.
Just because the children do not have school doesn’t mean that they’ll spend the full day in bed. Encourage them to get up at the same time they did pre-quarantine so that their body clock won’t be messed up (bonus: you’ll find it easier to put them to bed if the kids’ waking time is consistent).
And oh, make sure that they get dressed in regular school clothes rather than hanging around in pajamas all day to help normalize the situation.
3. LET YOUR CHILD CHOOSE HIS BOREDOM BUSTER
The kids are going to be cooped up for hours and the close contact with the fam might cause friction between family members.
What to do? Allow them to release that energy on their terms! Now that they are not going out, let the kids work on projects they’re interested in and do but never have the time to try doing. Let them paint, bake, write stories, make vlogs, or keep a journal.
You can also ask them to help you around the house while you are working.
For your teenaged kids, ask them if they’d be willing to vacuum in exchange for rewards such as time to play video games. This is an opportunity for them to develop some independence and to contribute around the house.
4. MAKE TIME FOR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Don’t forget to soak up some sun outside the house (while practicing social distancing, of course). Your kids need to have breaks where they can move around and talk to their friends.
However, if you’d rather stay indoors, keep your rate up by doing physical activities. Exercise isn’t just good for losing weight and cardio; it also helps in keeping your lungs healthy.
5. SET A QUIET TIME
This is the time to help your kids fall loving with (or revisit their love of) reading. Allow them to choose books that interest them.
Additionally, your older kids can use the quiet time to keep up with their schoolwork to finish their school works on time.
Kids nowadays used to have busy schedules that having a break (albeit due to COVID-19) will be welcome.
Their QT means you must have a longer time on your own that you can use to tackle that challenging work task. Use it wisely!
6. CREATE A BEDTIME ROUTINE
Kids with regular bedtimes tend to have more sleep, and more sleep is related to better physical, psychological, and academic functioning
Turn off of the lights and all gadget screens to help your kids fall asleep. It will also help if you will to make the room perfectly quiet or sing a lullaby and play soft music like sleep sounds.
The first few days of being at home together may either be stressful or quite fun; but once the whole experience is no longer novel, it will become harder.
Just don’t forget to be understanding — toward yourself and your children. Also, keep your sense of humor intact. Just like in an airplane, put your oxygen mask on first, then ask for help when you need it.
We’ve never experienced anything just like the current crisis and we are not prepared for this difficult situation. We will need all the help we can get.
Do you have a thought or schedule that’s working well for you and your family? We’d like to hear it within the comments!