Advice Column, Child, Parenting, Pregnancy & Baby, Toddler

Living in lockdown

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  • Category Advice Column, Child, Parenting, Pregnancy & Baby, Toddler

The kids are at home, and the family is following government advice: staying indoors and only venture outside when necessary.

‘Time flies’ – that’s the saying, but in this situation it can go slow. The days are long.

But how can families survive not only the virus, but each other?

With routines disrupted and families thrown into close quarters, cabin fever is a real danger. Parenting expert Prof Lea Waters says self-isolation can hit three critical components of mental health: our sense of autonomy, relatedness (a sense of being connected to others) and competency (feeling effective).

Now it is not all bad news, us here at Snuggletime did some research and experts around the word have got the tips to get through it.

Begin on the same page

If possible, have a sit-down family meeting. Open and honest conversations will be a guideline to how to get through meeting everyone’s needs and expectations. “Forewarned is forearmed” as they say.

Be truthful

It is important for parents to listen to and empathise with their children’s fears, speak truthfully about the situation in an age-appropriate manner and put it into context. Always source information from creditable sites.

Set up structure

Maintaining a routine will be important but it need not be strict. Children have been used to a schedule and routine at school and day care, try to keep up life as normal as possible.

Working from home, is it a reality or fantasy 

Do not expect a normal 9am to 5pm workday. For parents trying to work from home, their ability to do so will rely on various factors from the age of their children and the layout of their home to the nature of their work. Wake up early and take time to catch up before the children wake or schedule a few extra hours at night. Take time to divide the load. Working around toddlers can be impossible so break up your day with your partner. You can work one hour while your partner entertains the children and then swop.

Keep moving

Psychologists agree that keeping physically active is critical to boosting mood: “Frustration and boredom can come when kids are not getting the opportunities to be physically active.” Creative exercise ideas, like setting up an obstacle course in the backyard, could occupy both parents and kids.  Although we would like to restrict screen time, follow a YouTube yoga class or exercise class with the family in the morning to get you going. If you have a games station play a tennis match or golf game, even video games can get your heart rate up!

Get things done

Feeling as though something has been accomplished during an isolation period will be important for both children and their parents. It could include working from home, school assignments or setting sights on long-avoided chores, repairs or tasks. Child Psychologist Jamie Blake suggests encouraging older kids to keep a “corona journal”, in which they can document their experience. 

Give each other space

Schedule me-time into your day. It can be very hard for families who are not used to being together 24/7 to now be forced to interact all the time. Create spaces in the house, if possible, like zones – Game zone, chill out zone, reading zones and rotate the kids for a little alone time. This can give you your own alone time or some one-on-one bonding time with other family members. 

Get back to simple ways

Now is the time to get together and cook meals, bake and craft with the family. Take every moment to bond and learn new things about each other. As the saying goes “never end the day angry”, or it will fester and be taken into the new day. Before bed reassure your children that it will be all ok 

As a family and a community, we can come out of this stronger! 

And remember – WASH YOUR HANDS!

Simple Covid-19 Schedule:

6:00- 7:30 – Parent catch up time

Put in a few hours towards the paying work job, meditate, pray and contemplate the day

7:30 – 8:00- Strategy Meeting

Enjoy a cup of Coffee and plan the day

8:00 – 9:00 – Wake up time for Children

East breakfast, make beds, get dressed

9:00- 9:30 – Exercise

Walk the dog, yoga or a movement game

9:30 – 10:30 Academic time

Time to do prescribed schoolwork, read a book, fill in your journal, play soduku, word search, crossword puzzles or even dot to dot for smaller kids. End with a snack or a treat.

10:30 – 11:00- Outside fun

Set up some games like skittles, toss the hoop or even plant a few seeds – weather dependant or just move them inside for indoor friendly activities.

11:00 – 12:00 – Creative time

Drawing, painting, cooking, baking, making music or free play.

12:00 – Lunch time

12:30 – Chore time

Clean up the lunch dishes, wipe down the kitchen and pack away any toys and crafts left from the morning 

1:00 – 2:00 – Quite time , Adulting catch up

Read a book, listen to music or just take a nap.

Fill in the gaps – chores, work, emails and all those adult duties 

Adulting catch up

2:00 – 4:00 – Electronic time – Adulting catch up

Start with a snack treat.  Electronics are ok now – iPad games, YouTube and PlayStation, TV time – where possible keep it educational set everyone up for independent play.

Continue with adulting duties.

4:00 – 5:00 – Fresh Air

Bikes, walks and ball games.

5:00 – 6:00 – Dinner

Help make dinner – age appropriate.

Sit down and enjoy free talk time

6:00 – 6:30 – Bath time

Enjoy a splash game in the bath.

6:30 – 8:00 – Free TV time

8:00 * or age appropriate bedtime

Bedtime story and lights out.

8:30 – Couch Catch up time

Don’t ignore your partner and fall into bed.  Have a drink or a cup of tea and discuss the success of the day.

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