Everyone is trying to cope with self-isolating and social distance, but parents with kids at home can have a particularly challenging time. Here are a few tips to help ease the tension.
Structure in the household is an important part of keeping kids calm and orderly. If the kids don’t have structure and texture, they are likely to get pyjama fever in the house and start climbing the walls. With this in mind, kids should stick to the same type of routine as they have when getting ready for school which means getting up, having breakfast, getting cleaned up and dressed for the day.
Parents can plan an activity or two prior to lunch time with age appropriate work-books or other types of educational material or school-oriented items you can find on line for them to complete. The Province of Ontario just announced their Learn at Home web site is up and running. Letting them just go crazy on tablets or computers and games is not recommended. It’s also a good idea to include some recreation into their day. Outdoor play is a very powerful way to keep kids stimulated. Have lunch together and then maybe even give them some alone time for them to learn how to entertain themselves. Education toys or crafts are also a great add into alone time. You could also include them in some educational moments around the household like baking where they can measure some of the items and learn how to follow directions. The day should end at 3:30 just like a regular school day and the rest of the day should unfold the way things normally do when the kids are in school.
Keep in mind that parents can use a break from time to time…if you have a neighbour with kids…it might be an idea to have share babysitting services with someone symptom free to look after the kids from while you run to the store or get some of your housework done. It’s definitely a challenging time for us all, but if we put a little thought into keeping some structure and routine going during this time period it will help everyone’s sanity and at least keep a little order in the household.