Kids at Home: How to Stay Safe…and Sane
As parents, we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to keep our kids involved, learning and safe while they are home. The truth is, this is easier said than done and can feel overwhelming. Parenting is hard. Teaching is hard. Teaching your own kids while you’re all stuck at home indefinitely can seem impossible.
Take a deep breath – you are doing great already. The expectation isn’t that you see your kids through a full school day.
You’re allowed to take breaks, watch TV, play games and relax. In fact, you should do all of those things. Here are a few tips that may help you decide how to structure the days and weeks ahead.
- Maintain routines (as much as you can). Resume bedtime and wake-up routines and normal school-day hours. Kids feel safe in a predictable environment.
- Make a schedule. Have your kids help! Depending on the ages of your kids, vary amounts of time dedicated to work and free time. This should include time for learning, chores and fun!
- Let them teach one another. It can be hard when everyone is learning something different. Have older kids help “teach” the younger ones.
- Incorporate teaching into daily activities. For example, baking involves measuring, science and math. Plus, you get a yummy snack for your break. Again, this is something everyone can do together.
- Use what you have. Teach young kids about germs and washing hands. Teach school-age kids about social responsibility with social distancing. For adolescents, you can help them learn how to spot reliable and unreliable sources of information.
- Have fun together! Taking a break is good for your mind and body. Play board games, have a movie night or solve a puzzle.
- Move your body! Go outside, play musical chairs, learn a dance together. Lots of companies are offering free home workout resources right now, so take advantage.
- Stay connected – remotely. FaceTime, Skype or call family members and friends. You could even have a virtual playdate.
- Relax. Take deep breaths, do yoga or find a fun meditation made for kids. All of these will help reduce anxiety for everyone in the family.
The most important lesson our kids can learn is that there are consistent, reliable adults who love them! If things don’t go according to plan, or if your family just needs a day spent hanging out in their pajamas, that’s OK! We will all get through this, and we are here to help.