Happy Kids = Happy Parents – A Guide to A No-Stress Lockdown At Home..........
The Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the whole world! We are all staying home. While some of us are working from home, many of us have extra responsibilities, what with handling tasks that were previously delegated to helpers. To top it all, our kids are at home 24/7. Parents are wondering: What will the children do all day?
Many parents are scrambling to find ways to smoothly transition children into at-home life. While it’s one thing to entertain children all day on the weekends or a holiday, it’s another when you have to do that for an indefinite period of time. Our generation of kids has not known boredom and staying at home for weeks together can affect them and in turn us. We parents now face a formidable challenge: how to keep children from bouncing off the walls or melting into blobs in front of glowing screens, while also avoiding summer learning loss.
But, there is a little secret that we all know well, that we can use to bring in some harmony and peace. Yes. Routine! Structure and routine is very important to promote normalcy.
A Guide to A No-Stress Lockdown At Home
Children are used to following a schedule, so making a time table for the day will help keep the day organized and remove chaos. While you don’t need to have every minute of the day planned, it is a good idea to draw out a schedule for the day. Keep a schedule that can help children see what is coming next and feel a sense of order. The schedule should be balanced with fun activities, chores, and unstructured free time as well. Involve the children in making the schedule since this will help children transition to and try different activities.
So go on and grab a pen and map out how your typical day goes. Plan it out with the goal to keep children busy and learning while allowing you to get other things done too. For all, you know this will help set up better chore habits at home and lead to children learning to manage the day by themselves. All they will need to do is stick to a consistent routine.
To start with, make a daily agenda. Depending on the age of your children, make up the schedule with pictures, icons, and other fun visuals. Get the children to write it out and decorate it. Communicate the time table to the kids and help them understand why you are going to be doing this and what they have to do. Put it up in a common area where you and the children can see it. This will save you the hassle and will encourage the little ones to be independent and follow the routine.
Here are some tips to set a routine for your child:-
**9 Tips to remember when setting a routine for your child.....
1-Follow the normal day routine
Keeping the normal day as the framework, chart out the times when your children have breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner. Break the day into smaller slots that do not overwhelm them and are easier to manage for the children.
2-Set aside time for Free play
Mark aside a good chunk of time for free play. Free Play is very essential since this is child-led and in pretending, imagining, or creating, they are doing some serious learning. Add more or less time depending on your child’s age and play development. Remember the more a child plays, the more they learn to play. To help with free play, make sure to keep all the open-ended toys where the children can easily access them. And try not to get involved in their free play, unless invited.
3-Make some time for indoor activities
Isn’t it a blessing that you get to spend so much time with your children? Why not take the time to make it worthwhile. Help make great childhood memories – play with them! So put in some time for activities you can do together. Depending on your child’s age, try art and craft activities, indoor games, or board games. Keep them simple and time it according to your work schedule.
4-Schedule time for reading
We all know the importance of reading. What better time than now to build that habit, if not already done? Put in some time to read – 20 minutes a day is recommended, but depending on your child, you can add in one or more time slots for reading. Try reading with the child, reading out to the child, independent reading, family reading, and listening to audiobooks and stories during this time.
5-Build in chore time
Rope in your kids to help you with the chores. Not only will this help ease your burden but will also help children learn some important life skills. Ensure you only give age-appropriate chores.
6-Throw in some screen-time
Screen time can be a great parenting tool when used wisely. Ensure you put in set time in the day, so the children know when and for how long they get screen-time. Stick to the timetable and turn off when the scheduled time is over. This will keep the kids from “over-indulging” on screens. You can dole out screen time as a privilege in times of need – like when you have to finish up the dinner, but otherwise stick to the schedule.
7-Add a dash of time for outdoors
While in these times, going outside is a no-no, it is well-known that outdoor time has lots of benefits for kids. So add in some outdoor time in the schedule too. If you have a backyard or a terrace – this can count as outdoors. Even the humble balcony can help! Make sure you supervise your children and/or all safety measures are in place when children play on the terrace or balcony. Use this time for simple exercises and simple games that do not need a lot of space like skipping or jumping.
8-Mark up some time to connect with family and friends
We are all cooped up indoors all day and it will help to see and talk to family and friends. With video chats, this is easy. Set aside sometime every day to connect with family and friends. This will help children relax a bit and are fun for them too.
9-Sprinkle in a little bit for structured learning
While it is summer vacation now, we are not sure when the schools will reopen. Not just that, a long break can cause a summer learning loss in children. To combat this, add in a little time to do some structured learning – solving a few sums or doing a reading comprehension – will go a long way.
Here are a few examples of a schedule. You can copy them for rote or custom-fit them to meet your family’s individual needs!