I know it can get so overwhelming and tiring while managing children at home during COVID-19. Social distancing with kids, keeping them calm as well as busy is easier said than done.
You don’t want them sick but then kids are kids. They need to burn off that extra energy! Out of schools and out of schedule is no good for kids and parents…specially moms!
But we don’t have a choice! However, there is a lot we can do to maintain harmony and calm at home. A little consciousness can really make the difference. Here are a few mindful pointers, which will assuredly help you in managing kids at home during COVID-19.
1. Keep them on high fruit and fibre diet: It’s good for their immunity and also the increased fibre helps keep a healthy bowel movement. In the absence of physical activity, digestion tends to get sluggish leading to constipation. Combat it with high fibre and fruit rich diet.
2. Stay low on sugar: Another trick to managing children at home during COVID-19 is to keep them low on sugar. You don’t want your kids on a sugar rush when outdoor access is limited. Opt for natural sugars like fruits, dates, dried cranberries, blueberries and figs for that sweet craving. This will really help you manage your kid’s energy level and prevent those meltdowns stemming from excess un-utilised energy.
3. Choose odd times for outdoors: Since we have started practising social distancing, I have been putting my son to bed early so he can go to the park in early morning hours. That time the park has hardly any visitors, so we get to burn some energy whilst staying safe. Not to mention the benefits of early morning workout.
4. Engage in lots of Enquiry: We are a great fan of enquiry-based learning. We are pondering over the smallest things around the house. Like, why pickle does not need to be refrigerated but fruits have to be?
We have turned this into a kind of a question game and trust me we are not only increasing our knowledge but also experimenting a lot since we love playing like a scientist rather than just googling answers. This really keeps my boy busy! And we are certain it will surely aid you in managing children at home during COVID-19.
5. Take up Gardening: We have seriously taken up gardening and my little one is planting all the seeds form the fruits we eat at home. You don’t need a garden for this, pots can suffice. We are using fruit and vegetable scraps to make a fine watery slurry, which we then add to our plants as a manure.
6. Play Board Games: Board games are great boredom busters and stress relievers for both kids and adults. After a long time, I am getting to play a child and I am loving every second of it.
Take out your old Cardboard out of the attic for hours of fun. Other games to try are Chinese Checkers, Hopscotch, Tic-Tac-Toe and Connect 4.
7. Read Together: Instead of setting a reading schedule, we are now reading all over the day to fill small pockets of boredom. Keeping it open-ended with no set times helps us find sanity when we don’t wish to do anything or simply don’t know anything better.
8. Watch Movies: Instead of sticking to the weekend movie schedule, we now cozy up for a movie every 2 days. A well chosen movie with a good message cannot go wrong with kids and do not really detriment their health. These are tough times and we need to take them with grace.
Allowing your children extra screen-time would help you keep your sanity and find sometime of peace & solitude for yourself.
9. Meditate: This is for you! Times like these test your inner strength and resilience. Try to find 5mins for yourselves 2-3 times a day. Just sit back, close your eyes, shut wanderings off your mind and breathe.
I realised I was getting wound-up too fast and was reacting way faster than I do. That’s when it occurred to me that how I needed to relook at my meditation schedule.
10. Read about COVID-19: With plenty of resources available for Kids on COVID-19, it could not be easier to ease their anxiety. Help your children understand why they need to practice social distancing and upmost hygiene in times like these. This is the foremost and most crucial step in winning their cooperation.
Show trust in your children and how you believe they are capable of managing themselves at a time like this. Your faith in them will certainly reflect in their behaviour. Just keep expectations realistic and allow for bad days.
11. Listen to Them: Listen to your children like really listen…not just with your ears but also with your heart. Understand their struggles, look through their perspective and allow room for their choices.
Like everything, this shall too pass! But, it will remain etched forever in your children’s minds and hearts as how you handled this uphill climb. These are arduous times and our children are watching us. You can either set a shining example or choose to let your emotions reign you. Choice is yours!