The coronavirus pandemic has significantly changed the lives of families all over the globe. Closed schools, remote work, social distancing – it’s a lot to juggle, especially for moms and dads. So we decided to share a set of useful tips to help navigate this new reality.
Time with each other
Temporarily out of office? Schools shut down? Anxious about tomorrow? Ok, look on the brighter side.
The cancellation of classes is an opportunity to bolster relations with your kids. Time with each other can be so much fun. It makes your youngest ones feel cared for and safe, and signals them they mean a lot to you.
Make time for your kids
Half an hour, or more – decide for yourself. It can be at the exact time each day so your kids can eagerly await it.
Ask your child about their preferences
Having choices fosters their confidence. If they wish to do something that involves social interaction, then you should explain the risks to them.
Things to do with your toddler
– play peek-a-boo, hide and seek, patty cake
– make music with pots and spoons, sing songs
– stack blocks or cups
– tell a story, read a book, or put on a puppet show
– imitate their sounds and facial expression
– dress up
– play in a bubble bath.
Things to do with your young child
– decorate a room and throw a dance party
– try a new cookie recipe and film a cooking show
– go camping in the living room
– design and go on an indoor scavenger hunt
– try some nail art techniques
– teach your dog a new trick
– learn to juggle
– have a pillow fight.
Things to do with your teenager
– discuss something they like: music, sports, celebrities, friends
– do a movie marathon
– cook favorite meals as a team
– work out together to their favorite music
– do a project together, teach your teen something new
– bury a time capsule.
2. HAVING A POSITIVE ATTITUDE
It‘s not easy to keep it positive when your children are driving you berserk. However kids are much likely to do what we request if asked politely and positively and praise them a lot for what they do right.
Project the behavior you want to see
Use positive vocabulary when instructing your kid; like ‘Please put your toys away’ (instead of ‘Stop making a mess!’).
It’s all about tone of voice
Yelling at your kid will just make you and them more tense and annoyed. Speak calmly. Draw your kid’s attention by addressing them by name.
Compliment your kid when they are behaving well
Praise your kid for something they have done well. They may not show it, but you’ll see them doing that good thing again. It will also reassure them that you notice and care.
3. STRUCTURE UP
Coronavirus has taken away your regular work, home and school routines. This is hard for every family member. Making new activities can help.
Create flexible but coherent daily activities
Schedule structured activities (as well as spare time) for you and your kids. This can help keep them on point and better behaved.
Kids can help make the routine – thus they will follow this better.
Include physical activities – this will relieve stress and release energy kids have accumulated.
Teach your child about social distancing
Comfort your child by discussing how to stay safe. Take their suggestions seriously.
Handwashing and hygiene made fun
Compose a song for washing hands and add actions. Give children points and praise them for regular handwashing.
Make a game to see how few times we can touch our faces with a reward for the least number of touches (you can count for each other).
You are a model for your child’s behavior
If you practice keeping safe distances and hygiene yourself, and treat others with compassion, especially those who are sick or vulnerable – your kids will learn from you.
At the end of each day, take a minute to think about the day. Tell your kids about one positive or fun thing they did.
Praise them for what they did well.
All children misbehave. It is normal when children are tired, hungry, afraid, or learning independence. And they can drive us crazy when stuck at home.
Catch bad behavior early and redirect your kids’ attention to a good behavior.
Stop it before it starts! When they start to get restless, you can distract them with something interesting or fun: “Come, let’s play a game.”
Consequences help teach our children responsibility for what they do. They also allow discipline that is controlled. This is more effective than punishing.
Give your child a choice to follow your instruction before giving them the consequence.
Try to stay calm when giving the consequence.
Make sure you can follow through with the consequence. For example, taking away a teenager’s phone for a week is hard to enforce. Taking it away for one hour is more realistic.
Once the consequence is over, give your child a chance to do something good, and praise them for it.
5. KEEP CALM AND MANAGE STRESS
This is a stressful time. Don’t forget to take care of yourself, so you can support your children. And be open to your kids, listen to them when they share how they are feeling. Accept how they feel and give them comfort.
They will look to you for support and reassurance.
We hope these tips will help you in the most important job in the world.