Photo by Victoria Borodinova
10 tips for taking care of your children while they're at home.
1: Reconnect as a family
In this extremely fast paced world it can be difficult have time to connect with each other. Make the most of everyone being in the same house. Make a big deal about having meals together as a family – talk to each other, ask about each other’s feelings.
You can also make the most of technology and connect with each other via telephone, text, Skype, online or via email. Perhaps even encourage your children to write letters to their grandparents or friends, for you to post during your next family walk.
2: Follow a routine
Try to set a time and place for everything to help your children understand and meeting expectations. Establish simple and predictable rituals for meals, school work, play and bed. It doesn’t have to be super strict, but having an idea of “what is coming next” can be very comforting for children. Particularly continuing with a set bedtime and breakfast routine.
3: Encourage exercise
Physical activity burns excess energy in healthy ways. It also helps a child to focus their attention on specific movements. If you can’t go places, or play with your friends, but you can still go for walks – go for a walk as a family perhaps, and make the most of the sunshine and fresh air.
You can even create an obstacle course at home – inside or out, or bounce on a trampoline, or have races with your family. Physical activity is important.
4: Make time to have fun
Now that you're all together make time to have fun together. Whether it's creating Lego, or drawing pictures, or playing Minecraft with your kids. Look online (Facebook's videos section has some great suggestions) and discover lots of fun activities that you can do together at home.
5: Create a safe where they can retreat to
Make sure your child has a quiet, private space of their own. A porch or a bedroom work well – somewhere to retreat to when they need a space to “regroup”.
6: Take breaks
Let everyone just have small regular breaks – it doesn’t matter is the kids are sometimes just doing nothing much. Find some fun activities online, and just let them explore new ideas.
7: Take care of yourself
Try and eat right, exercise, and find ways to reduce stress, whether it means taking a nightly bath or practicing mourning meditation. You need to first look after yourself before you can look after anyone else.
8: Maintain a positive attitude
Your best assets for helping your child is your positive attitude and common sense. When you are calm and focused, you are more likely to be able to connect with your child, helping him or her to be calm and focused as well.
9: Keep things in perspective
Remember that your child’s behaviour is related to a disorder. Most of the time it is not intentional. Hold on to your sense of humour. What’s embarrassing today may be a funny family story in ten years from now.
10: Don’t sweat the small stuff and be willing to make compromises
One task left undone isn’t a big deal when your child has completed two others. They may have received lots of school work, from their teachers, but don’t turn it into a super stressful time to get everything done perfectly. Just encourage them to do their best in small chunks.