We’ve been in lockdown for 2 weeks now, with no immediate signs of things changing and for parents with young children I’d guess there are times when your patience and ability to keep them occupied could be a bit of a challenge.
Many people will be thinking they’re not doing well, that other parents seem to have this under control and it’s only you who’s struggling.
I’ll let you into a secret…they’re just better at putting on a happy face!
You’d be a strange person if the current situation wasn’t a little unsettling, if having to “homeschool” your children for the first time wasn’t daunting and hard work.
My first message is ….Be Kind To Yourself…
Your children are not expected to be sitting through a copy of their usual school day…and that comes from my Nephew, a Deputy Head Teacher in the North East
He suggests say 3 activities a day, broken up with play and family activities such as a walk, gardening, cooking etc
In fact some of the things you do every day are learning activities;
- If we’re all having 2 slices of toast, how many do we need?
- Weighing out ingredients
- Exploring your garden or the hedgerow on your daily walk to find and name plants and bugs (come home and search for them online)
- Planting and looking after seeds. HERE is a link to some ideas for growing plants from food scraps
- Inventing new games for the family
- Board and card games
- Building a fort with tables, chairs, sofas and bedding
- Mark out social distancing lines on your floor or in your garden…sneaky maths…6 feet apart
The point here is that your children can learn just by doing everyday things, they just don’t know they’re learning. So take some pressure off yourself and, if you’re inventive you might even get them used to doing more around the house than they did before
What about the questions they ask about what’s happening with Covid-19?
Well, you can only be age-appropriate in your answers but do answer those questions. Children pick up on our anxiety and need to feel they can come to you now and in the future.
Your emotional health
As for you…how are you coping with the enforced togetherness? Are you feeling the pressure from the pandemic and the relentless news and social media comments?
If so…Switch it off!!!!
Yes, you want to keep up with what’s happening but that can be done once a day in one of the news summaries. Constantly reading and hearing about the same information will just overload you when you’ve got enough on your plate
Make sure you (and your children) are staying in touch by phone or online with friends and family; that you’re sharing funny and good experiences. Take lots of photographs…we’ll all be looking back on this some day
I’ll be updating this blog regularly from now on to add new links for activities and information to help you and your children and if you’ve got any specific questions regarding emotional health, for any of you, please do contact me by phone/text or email HERE
You can also keep in touch through my facebook page HERE