Recently, our President announced that schools would (hopefully) remain closed until Easter, and many of us have struggled to make plans to keep the kids at home. For some, this is a matter of juggling from home with kids thrown into the mix, which can seem almost impossible without keeping them in front of the TV for hours. For others it has been more difficult to make this decision and we just want to say that it breaks our hearts to think of how difficult this is for you.
That’s why we want to do our part. If your kids are at your or someone else’s home and you can’t go to your usual child places and want to avoid camp fever due to coronavirus, then these tips will certainly do the trick.
But first, here’s why we’re staying close to home for 2 weeks
As the coronavirus pandemic unfolds, a form of self-isolation is a smart way to slow the rate of infection. It doesn’t prevent us from ever getting the virus, but it might prevent everyone from catching it at once. Which would be a worse kind of disaster. That’s why we’ve been asked for about 2 weeks to keep our worlds a little smaller than usual. Therefore, we must keep our children away from school and stay at home as much as possible.
It’s not forever, but it can feel like it as your kids mutter, “I’m boreddddd” and gaze longingly at every surface of your home that they might cover with Koki. It’s a terrible moment.
Here’s how to avoid the great Koki Wall disaster of 2020:
Start on the same side
It can be difficult to talk to your kids about why they’re not in school and why their routine is out the window, whether you’re dealing with toddlers, pre-teens or teenagers… But it’s so important. Our advice is to have a pow-wow with the family and be truthful about what is happening. And while you’re all together, maybe chat about hygiene so they’re up to speed on washing their hands and coughing or sneezing into their “cough bags” (cute talk for the crook of your elbow). If you give your children a sense of control, e.g. B. about their personal hygiene, this can actually help them to deal with their fear of this situation.
Who knew washing hands could be the equivalent of a child having a sword slaying dragons?
Create a schedule
Your schedule will depend on the age of your offspring, but make no mistake. A schedule is vital to a parent’s sanity survival. You can ask your school, other school parents, or just google for an age-appropriate schedule. You can even adapt the found example to your needs. For example, if you work from home, you can fit in some electronics or TV time at the time of day you’re most productive. This way you can get your work done while you are busy in peace.
A great example of this is one working mom who told us that she taught her preschoolers (yes, several little ones) a craft they could do unsupervised (no scissors or glue), and then spent that part of the time using her e- Mails dedicated and Google Hangout meetings. Apparently she had a more productive morning than at the office. Imagine that.
The value of screen time
Obviously it’s not great for little people to stay on screens all the time and trust us… The novelty will wear off pretty quickly. So make it special. Choose educational games and shows (even ones about hygiene and hand washing on YouTube are great) and generally make it seem like a special part of your kids’ day so they don’t get bored and go looking for those kokis we talked about earlier .
The value of going outside
We’ve been advised to stay away from crowds and keep a meter between ourselves and the rest of the world, but that doesn’t mean we can’t go outside at all. So take family walks, send the kids out to play in the yard, and generally encourage physical activity.
Since exercise eliminates frustration and boredom, especially for children, you might want to set up an obstacle course in the garden or turn on the music and invite everyone to a little dance party in the lounge.
Don’t forget the alone time
We’re no childcare experts (we prefer to be experts at saving you a bundle on your insurance every month), but we’ve spoken to enough parents to know that even young children need alone time . And you might be so busy keeping them occupied that you might have forgotten to fit some alone time into their schedule. What could also be pretty cool is to break up alone time with a “reconnection ritual,” which is sort of gibberish for breaking up alone time with some time together, like z or going for a walk).
Do it and thank us later.
Make video calls with family and friends
Your children are used to highly social environments and you can lift their spirits by staying connected with their friends and family. We miss our royal compatriots when they are away on business or vacations and have to refrain from calling them from the office… So we can only imagine how much your children will miss their teachers and friends. Why not text key figures in your kids’ lives to see if you can have a 5 minute video chat? It’s something to look forward to, gives them someone else to talk to, and (crucially) is something else to fit into their schedule.
We hope these tips will help you get through the next few days at home with your kids and if you are able to stay home during this time then we wish you all the best. If you can’t stay home, we hope these tips will help the caregiver you’ve entrusted with your precious cargo and give you more confidence that they’re happy and well taken care of.