Since stay at home/quarantine has become our new normal, we are forced to acquire new adaptation skills. And just in case you think I’m writing this blog because I have mastered this, that’s nowhere close to reality. Like everyone else I have had to come up with some new adaptation skills to cope with our new normal. Hence, I decided to share some that have been working. Although we have been quarantined for a while now I still decided to publish this for those who might still be struggling with keeping their kids engaged at home. In fact, this will be a good resource for future reference as well. Who knows what September has in store for us?
- Create an Inclusive Schedule
When I realized that we were at home/quarantined, I immediately jumped into “Type- A mommy mode”. I immediately thought I had to be in control. I needed a schedule, I needed to jump on things right away. I needed to make sure things would not fall apart. After all, I am ‘super mommy’ and everyone needed me to take charge. Boy, was I wrong about this? I quickly came to the realization that a more practical and workable approach would be creating a more ‘Inclusive’ schedule with my family. So, I quickly shifted my expectations and began the process of creating a schedule. To my surprise, one of my then ten-year old twins texted our family group a schedule on the first day of our quarantine, suggesting that we could use it. This was a win for us all, as all 3 of my kids were in! They liked the schedule. Now it was time to revise and go. So, I sat with my twin boys and came up with a workable schedule. Then I sat with my 15-year daughter -who obviously is in a different word from 10-year old elementary school boys. Now, the result is a schedule that was mutually created. This approach allows for accountability from all parties. Although it’s summer we still have a modified summer schedule (more fun with some academics). This allows them to maintain some sense of accountability. This is a good habit to practice as it allows your child to ease back into a school schedule with less resistance.
- Be More Lenient
With quarantine in full effect, I realized that my strict routine of no electronics or television during the week had to go out the window. With all the intensity and difference in structure of learning I began to understand that anxiety and frustration would become more common. So, we made the decision to allow our kids to use electronics or watch television with a little more lenience in this time. It is important to note that when you make this decision, do so within the parameters of what works best for your family. With that said there were some non negotiables.
- Electronics or television could only be enjoyed if work was completed.
- There was limitation on time allotted and days that electronics could be used. eg. Our kids would get a specific amount of time for selected days of the week. Weekends they were given more lenience of course!
I can assure you that when this decision was made I was a bit nervous as I know the impact that too much screen time can have, but we seem to be handling it pretty well. Whenever there is pushback we always refer to the agreements we made and the importance of accountability.
- Be Creative- Family Fun
We have always had a busy schedule and just somehow made it work. Our kids have become so accustomed to this. We however, always find time for family and fun. But the level of connection made and quality time we have spent together since quarantine is unimaginable. From playing games, engaging in deep conversations, exploring new talents, doing activities together and trying out social media challenges we have been having a “ball.” These connections and this time spent together is invaluable. I encourage you to take advantage of this time. Carve out a time to spend with family as often as you can per week and make it worth your while. One thing that work well for us was that we make these decisions as family, which allows us to hold each other accountable. Trust me our kids hold us accountable and run that guilt trip if we dare to beg for a rain check. This keeps us all true to our word. Of course, there are a few instances where we have to make changes or reschedule activities, but because we have created that sense of accountability it makes it less difficult. In essence, despite all the odds of the time we are granted the opportunity to spend true quality time with our family. So, why not? This is an unusual gem that we should relish in.
- Find or Revive your Passion
Now everyone has a passion that they want to live out, but not everyone has to the time to do so. It’s amazing what you can do with commute time and extra time that would be spent at work or out with friends. Don’t get me wrong I value all of these for what they are worth, but as we speak we are limited to the four walls of our home. So, let’s work with what we have. Take time to work on or revive something you did not have the chance to take on in a long time because of lack of time.
- Pray Together
“The family that prays together stays together.”
We have always impressed the importance of prayer to our kids. They fully understand that we pray when all is going well, and we pray when we need help. Always pray. In this time, we have gotten the opportunity to see firsthand the power of prayer. We pray individually, and we pray together as a family for the world at large. Talk to you family/kids about praying and the importance of praying. Make it a habit and allow it to become a normal part of your daily routine and not something you do only in times of trouble.