parenting with coronavirus

Covid-19 Parenting 101

Looks like we’re all going to be home with our kids for a while.

Steady.

Let’s all sit down and take a deep breath.

This news may be more intimidating and stressful for parents who are used to sending their kids to school for others to teach, keep from fighting, and chase boredom away.

“Social distancing” is another catch phrase for “You can’t play with friends so you’re stuck with me.”

Now it’s our turn. It’s 24/7 Covid19 Parenting Time. Desperate times call for desperate measures. We’ve got to be as creative as an elementary school teacher, as entertaining as Nickelodeon, and enticing as a vending machine.

My cousin is a fabulous parent of four. She uses the outdoors to teach her kids a healthy respect for nature and books and other materials to teach them how to use their minds. She came up with this chart to schedule learning and keep everyone on track while they are out of public school. Notice how they helped.

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Do you remember the daily schedule your 5th grade teacher had on the board? Rather than falling into boredom and brain atrophy, why not keep the daily schedule going at home? Kids may resist at first, but you never know. If you let them come up with a reasonable schedule and goals, it may just catch fire.

Plus, did you see the win-win? She has them up and doing chores first thing. Yay for this clever mom sneaking that in.

P.S. Her name is “Sara” and “Rob” is her husband. I want to give her props for including him on house duties so the kids see their dad pitching in as well.

Here’s another generic chart that you could start with. But personalize it to your family so they are all creating their own learning plan. Home school kids do this every day.

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This schedule was also posted by a parent who took a more realistic approach to her “home school schedule”

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Does that resemble yours? Or maybe, by default, your day will look more like this:

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Being real is my thing (see book I wrote on home page). However, life shouldn’t unravel to the point that we give completely up. The little terrorist shouldn’t win. We are, after all, still in charge. Check your driver’s license and remind yourself who is the adult.

This time of quarantine may just be a wake-up call that we needed to have more structure to begin with. It’s hard to go from zero to hero in a matter of weeks.

Baby steps, people.

Start somewhere. Anywhere.

I suggest having a 1:1 ratio of media to learning if you need for younger kids. For every hour of school or subject study at home, children can to do either 1 hour of earned outdoor/physical play or 1 hour of “free” time (translate: media) or anything they want to do for fun like crafting, playing a board game or with toys. They have to alternate the physical play with media play.

I know, it’s going to be hard. T.P. may run out and you’ll have to start being creative.

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Just remember that school and public events and gatherings are cancelled (what, no Disneyland?) but kindness is not cancelled. Family fun is not cancelled. Laughter and jokes are not cancelled.  This may be a wake-up call and opportunity to give your child the one on one time with you that they’ve been missing.