I know, I know…. this CoronaVirus (COVID-19) has made us all Corona crazy.
Schools have been told to shut down and a lot of companies are making their staff work from home.
But after a week at home with the kids, they will most likely be bored, frustrated, start fighting with each other and with you… and you may long for the sanctity of your workplace – but that’s not gonna happen. So let’s get through this together.
I’m going to suggest some activities and tasks that should form part of a routine to recover some sanity in the household. There’s no point succumbing to the boredom and depression which makes you feel like you want to sink deep into your couch and actually become part of the furniture. You can survive this!
Stick to a Routine
Wake up as if you were leaving for work or dropping kids off at school. Do not treat this situation as an opportunity to be lazy and sleep-in (you can still do that on the weekend). Of course, you don’t have to get up as early as you would have normally. Take advantage of the extra time you would have normally spent travelling to work.
So treat Monday to Friday as a normal working or school day.
- Parents, get up before the children. If you have early rising children, let them join you at the start of the routine.
- Parents, while your children are sleeping, take some time to meditate, pray, exercise, freshen up and have some alone time to charge the batteries and get your day or work schedule ready. All you need is 10 minutes. [check app list article]
- So when the children are awake, start the “school day” with breakfast together, and discuss the news at a level they can understand. Take care to inform, but not scare.
- After breakfast, give them each a chore to do to form part of the routine. [click for the chore list]
- Start their lessons or homework that they have been given bearing in mind each child’s energy level. Rule of thumb, use the same duration as their normal school periods to get them to focus, remembering to take small breaks and then return back to schoolwork.
- Incorporating creative activities into the day is super important: [view the activity list article]
- Physical exercises form an integral part of the routine, so… [click here for activity ideas]
NOTE: As a working parent, there will be distractions. Younger kids, especially, need more attention, and you’re going to have to let your manager/boss know that there will be kids in the background, or dogs barking, or the need to quickly help a child with a difficult sum or two. It’s a unique compromise for a unique circumstance. Don’t feel like you’re in it alone.
- By the afternoon, start including some other activities
- By early evening or late afternoon, when the parent is done with work (are we ever?), step outside for some fresh air or kick the ball in the garden, skip with skipping rope – for those in apartments, move the furniture to the side and make space for some afternoon fun challenges (“boere-sport”) or play table tennis or air hockey on the dining room table.
- Then the evening routine starts taking place as per normal: bath, dinner, quiet play or reading and then off to bed.
- Before going to sleep, go through the schedule for the next day with the whole family, so everyone can add what they’d like to do and you’re all aware of what is expected of you.
- Remember to be flexible, your routine doesn’t have to be “on-the-clock” perfect, get a feel for the energy levels of everyone and adapt accordingly.
Remember parents, to be flexible the routine doesn’t have to be on the clock perfect each activity or task. If you don’t get to fulfil a certain workload or schoolwork on the day, incorporate it into the next day, but make them aware. This is not you replacing the teacher’s role but just keeping your child’s brain active and not going numb or dumb, keeping to a physically healthy routine (not lazy) and maintaining a good family system that won’t drive you mad.
Hang in there and keep safe!