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Stay Calm, Or At Least Fake It
As this pandemic was getting worse I was talking to an aquantance who grew up in the UK. She said that she never knew that the IRA was constantly a threat. While I think that our children should absolutely know what is going on, we should hide our fear from them. This doesn’t mean lie but do not let them see your panic when the grocery store is out of frozen food. They see it too already and are worried and will look for you to comfort them.
I know my children can sense when I am upset or dysregulated. They then proceed to get dysregulated too. I do not want to be stuck in my house with a bunch of hyper, worried kids. I am going to do my best to reassure them despite my own fears.
Accept That This Kind Of Sucks, But Is Absolutely Neccesary
School is out in many places. While I will try to provide educational activities. It is not the same. My son who has special needs has an IEP and extra supports that I cannot fulfill or provide him. I have also had to suspend my children’s occupational and speech therapy. Even though we will work on things at home I worry that the progress they have made will go away. Our vacation is cancelled, Passover dinner may just be us, and my kids will slowly drive me insane BUT this is important. We need to stop the spread of Covid- 19 even if our lives are inconvenienced. But, it’s also okay to say that it sucks. Tell your spouse, your BFF, probably not your kids, but maybe your mom too.
We have a months worth of food just in case, we have a lot of toilet paper (but we always did because we buy it when it’s on sale at Costco), and we have some basic medicine. But while my husband was stocking up on milk I was finding ideas and activities for the kids. I went to the dollar store and got whatever crafts they had, bubbles and glow sticks (if I give these to my kids they disapear into the basement for hours)
My oldest son is seven and his school is doing e-learning but that is probably not enough and he needs more educational activities. I ordered him an extra Minecraft workbooks (we already had a few) and will be encouraging him to use our Osmo more. I have also set the computer up with all his school websites to use and also Khan kids. If you have not seen this website/ app it is a great source of free educational activities
For my little ones, they are four, I ordered a few workbooks and we already had some activity and coloring books from the plane ride we are not taking. I have been printing them out worksheets I find on Pinterest and they have been loving it. I created boards for kids activities and home learning that you are welcome to join and contribute too. In addition, yesterday one of our favorite activities, a Kiwi Crate, came and I hid it. These boxes usually provide 3-4 hours of fun between the main activity and the extra project booklet. I am saving this for when we get REALLY bored! (You can grab yours for 30% off with code SHARE30)
Plan Each Day
We are generally a pretty rigidly scheduled family. My oldest son is autistic and this really helps him but also helps my little ones and I stay on task. Since days may be long it is important to break up the day even if your children do not have special needs or e-learning that needs to get done.
I used the free weekly schedule template on google sheets and created us a schedule. The kids then know when it is time for TV, a quite activity, playing in the yard or e-learning and workbook time.
We do not know what is going to happen in the world and we do not know how are kids are going to react to staying home, e-learning or any part of this. I am not the most flexible person but I am working on it in general and it will be important as this pandemic continues. I am currently scheduling two days out and then adjusting as neccesary.
Take Care Of Yourself
Parenting is always hard but this will be especially hard. Try to take time to yourself if you can. Talk to other adults and most of all remind yourself you are doing your best. If the kids watch “too much” TV one day or you feel they eat poorly that is absolutely fine! This is a hard situation and you need to give yourself a pass to do what you need to do to get through it.
Parenting in the Covid-19 Pandemic
What are your parenting tips for helping your child through the pandemic? Let me know below.