It’s official. Schools are closing all over the country.
Everyone is scrambling to find their footing.
Moms are feeling overwhelmed and anxious trying to adapt to having their kids home all day and how they’re going to make adjustments and manage school at home.
Teachers are rushing to learn new systems for online virtual classrooms and getting the curriculum together. Kids are feeling scared about what this all means for their after school activities, sports, graduations and getting together with friends.
It’s hard to keep up with the constant flood of emails from school with the latest updates and policies. All you have to do is turn on the news and the media is announcing hourly how many cases of Coronavirus we have.
This can all produce tons of anxiety and frustration for everyone.
So what do we do?
It’s important to be proactive versus reactive.
There are 4 things that you can do that can help your kids and family:
#1 You Need to Create Structure.
School creates a ton of structure for our kids.
In our home, we need to give them a schedule in place and, create a space to “do school.”
Here are some ideas:
Clean off the dining room table.
Get a tray or a box to put all of their supplies in for easy access that you can take it on and off the table.
Treat the day as if it’s a school day.
Get up, shower, get dressed (don’t stay in pj’s), and eat breakfast.
Morning is schoolwork (see our schedule here).
Take a lunch break and a recess break. Get them outside – depending on where you live, you might allow them to ride their bike around the block, go for a walk or read a book outside for 20 minutes.
It’s important to make a decision about how much recreational screen time you will allow. You can make exceptions and be flexible, however, with the kids home all day, complaining that their bored – having the discussion and getting clear on the amount of time they spend will help everyone. (Download our survival guide here for tips on screentime.)
#2 Be present and stay in the moment.
With so much uncertainty right now, it’s natural that we would have some anxiety about the future. However, if we’re worried about the future, our anxiety can distract us from being present in the moment and can actually feed our own kids’ anxiety.
Minimize anxiety by:
Limiting the amount of news you’re watching Be careful what you’re saying in front of your kids.
Kids are feeling isolated. Find ways to connect your kids with their friends – whether it be Facetime or multi-player video games. Put down the phones, especially during mealtime.
#3 Be patient with your kids.
This is a huge transition for everyone – our kids, teachers and us. We need to give ourselves some grace as we muddle through and figure this all out.
Your kids are feeling isolated.
Find ways to connect your kids with their friends – whether it be Facetime or multi-player video games.
Rather than focusing on the frustration and inconveniences, focus on the positive and remember this is a learning process.
Messes can be a real source of frustration so talk about how you can all help and work as a team.
Have a family meeting and brainstorm ways that you can all work together as a team.
#4 Use this as an opportunity for connection.
This is an incredible time of opportunity because we’re usually so busy running from activity to activity.
If there is a blessing in all of this, it is that it forces us to slow down and BE with each other.
Make this time you spend with your kid’s count. Eventually, things will return back to normal.
Ask yourself the question, “When I look back in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, what will really matter? Do we want to remember the nagging about the work getting done, the irritation of the messes around the house, the worrying about catching the COVID19?” Or, do we want to remember the sweetness of the time we spend together?
Let’s use this time to build a stronger relationship with our kids. Let’s have fun. Put music on, play games, watch movies, cook something together, take a walk, and laugh.
Focus on the positive and what your kids are doing. Not what they’re not doing or what they doing that bugs you.
#5 If you need to (and you will need to), take a break.
Self-care is especially important during this time.
Avoid the temptation that we can all have to micromanage everything or to feel the need to entertain our kids.
Connect with other moms through text or phone calls.
Take a nap, read a book and do the things that bring you joy.
Click here to get our “Stuck at Home Survival Kit” it has fun lists of TV Shows and Movies to binge-watch, Screen-Time guidelines, affirmations, a great “home school” schedule and more!