Updated: Apr 7
There is no doubt that these days are tough on all of us, humans are not used to staying at home for a long time or to be scared of an unseen thing that can attack them. But if adults can get affected, children can too. The coronavirus or COVID-19 forced all of us to stay at home and be under quarantine, which is not a natural thing, and by so natural behavior is not expected.
I know that these days with kids staying home from school they must be driving you crazy. I know that because I have kids and I know how almost all parents may be facing especially with the working from home situation these days too.
I will get back to how you keep your sanity while working from home in a later post, but for now, I want to take a closer look at our little angels and make them cope with this extraordinary situation before they start turning to little devils 😊.
1- Stay calm and act normal:
Babies from day one can feel their mother's emotion, they sense her smell when she hugs them, they hear her heartbeat when she holds them, they feel her mood when she is breastfeeding them.
Growing older, they still feel the parents through their actions, the facial expressions, their voice tone.
If you want your infant or child to be calm and start accepting the current situation, start by being calm yourself and act normally around the house. If you panic, they panic.
2- Always be positive:
Asking to remain positive in moments of doubt is one of the hardest things I know. But remember that by doing so you are not only helping yourself but you are helping your kids to remain positive.
Start a positive reinforcement daily routine, keep telling them every day how great they are, how proud of them are you because they did something, no matter how small it is, even if it was closing a door or saying thank you.
And if your child is still an infant, you can still transmit to them positivity through singing to them, talking calmly.
3- Let the magic begin:
When kids are staying at home for a couple of days, the complete place becomes a junkyard, a total mess. I know that, as my wife thinks the same thing applies to me when being left home alone for a while. But up-normal situations call for up-normal acts.
Cleaning is a hard process, and you may not have the energy to always keep the house clean. But guess what? Your children have a lot of energy that they are holding back which makes them bored and unbearable. You have to scarify some of your cleaning levels to maintain a healthy/safe environment where your kids can get their power out (This may be a nightmare more OCDs, but you just have to weigh the pros and cons).
4- Hey, Its Storytime:
Kids love stories, read to them or read them themselves. This not only allows your kids to sit down and listen, but it makes them calmer.
A couple of days ago I was sitting with my kids and we decided to generate a story idea together and narrate it together. Guess what, this is helpful because it makes your kids bond more with you, and it unleashes their imagination and creativity and enhances it. And if you are not the make up a story kind of person, here is a link to oxford owl free ebooks where there are stories for all ages categorized by age. Also, some expert storytellers read the story for your child in amazing videos on the same website, here.
5- Actively listen:
We all have our stories to say, we all have our small or big achievements that we want to tell our close people around. Kids more than anyone, want to always talk. They want to tell you about what they dreamt, what they wish for, what they feel.
Remember that video from the family guy show when Stewie kept calling his mother for over 30 seconds…
It sure looked funny over YouTube, but this may be a living hell for parents. And as painful and stressful as this might be, yet your kids don’t understand that you are working since you are home. For them they didn’t see the coronavirus or hear it telling them to stay home, it's you the one they saw and heard telling them so, and so you are required to answer to me whenever I need you.
I suggest talking to them, teach them that there are times when you are busy and need to concentrate, and other times you are free. Tell them that while they are the most important thing in your life, but sometimes you need to give a little more attention to finish a task just like when they are coloring the don’t want someone to talk to them.
And you need to make a schedule to make sure that you realize you are not at work and need to disappear for 8 hours, this is working from home, try to spread your work over the day so that you can give your family their time as you are giving your work its time.
6- Be honest:
Kids are far smarter than you, sit them down and tell them what is going on. Don’t scare them by the death statistics, but let them know why it is important to stay at home, why it's important to have social distance. Let them know that while this is a bad virus that hurt a lot of people, they can protect themselves by always washing their hands and not touching their mouth. Find the balance between making them understand what is going on, and not making them paranoid. Make it about protecting yourself, that if they went to the club or ignored the safety precautions that they would be hurting you more than hurting themselves, kids are known to be protective for their parents.
7- Home Gym:
Physical activities are part of the children's DNA, it is just part of their personality. They love to run, scream, and monkey-jump. This point can help with the 3rd point above. When you start working out with them at home, even if just Zumba or Yoga, it gets their energy out, energy otherwise would go in fighting with their siblings or breaking stuff or god forbid deciding to hurt themselves. Play a little Yoga or Zumba daily to keep them in shape and get their energy out.
8- Setup treasure hunt:
Who didn’t use to love a little brain work and to play the detective role? I know I still love those kinds of games so much. Start placing clues all around the house with simple questions that need them to answer to get to the next clue, and one after another till they reach the treasure which could be candies or a small gift.
My suggestion? Make a couple of envelopes and number them random numbers, leave around the house hidden clues and the answer of each clue would be a number that refers to one of these envelops you have which contains a clue to where to find the next one. This would make them warm up their mind by looking for clues, refresh their basic mathematical skills in addition and subtractions, or simple Question, do it the way you see it best benefit your child.
9- Bake me a cake:
It's time to raid your kitchen. Cooking and baking together is one of the most amazing activities one can do ever with your kids. There is some stuff that they can do on their own like in the following video (always be there to support and help when needing to turn on the stove), and there is other stuff that you need to do together. Both ways of cooking and baking are one of the best activities, and the internet is filled with tutorials and easy recipes for you and your kids to share.
10- Its TikTok time:
There is no harm in going crazy and childish with your children, share with them their interests and make a complete fool of yourself trying, why not? TikTok is one of the most trending apps these days and almost all children and many adults love it. So why not making them chose one of the sounds they want to make videos about and film it, ask them for directions and where to stand and how to act, make them feel that they are teaching you something, that you need them for directions in this and listen to them so they would listen to you when you give them directions about other stuff.
11- Use a social network to actually network:
Between Facetime, HouseParty, Zoom, and Facebook messenger there are a lot of options for your children to network with their friends and family members. Being home and self-isolating doesn’t mean to get cut off the external world, technology now made it easier and easier to communicate in all ways from text to voice to video. Use the social network right this time, use it to social networking with each other each from his place. HouseParty and Zoom allow people to have group video chats which are amazing.
12- Make your own play dough and slime:
Back to making a small mess, play doughs and slimes are children's most desirable things to play with, with few ingredients you can make your kids do their own slime or play dough, let create them and play, use their hands and fill their time with something they love.