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Being home for some people is the hardest thing ever! If you are a parent, being around your children all day long is something new and a bit of a challenge. After all, most parents send their children to school or daycare and will only have to deal with them for a few hours. This can lead to frustration and ultimately trying to figure out what to do each day. If you are one of those parents, who are struggling to keep up with your kids on a daily basis, this article is for you. Read our article below on 5 Tips for Parents with Children at Home.
- Set a Routine: Believe it or not, children crave structure! I understand there are different parenting styles these days ranging from old school to modern-day. Routines work for all parenting styles. It is important to give kids a bedtime, wakeup time, and filling the day with activities. This will work out better for you in the long run as a parent and for the children as you prepare them for the world. Include activities in the routine that stimulate the mind and allows them to also think creatively!
- Pretend they are still going to School: Around the world, children are going to school online. This is relatively new for some and can be hard to break into especially for the younger children. The key here is to do what you would normally do if they were going to school. Have them wake up on time, eat breakfast, shower and brush their teeth, and get them dressed. Parents, ensure that the background is conducive to learning and ensure the child is on time for each session. Make it fun by allowing them to pick their favorite outfits and sit with them for the first few minutes to get them ready and settled. Remember you are the parent and you are in charge.
- Outside Play: Outside play (in your own yard) is necessary, as it is a form of exercise. Bring back some old school games like hide and seek or if you are Caribbean “Dandy Shandy”. If you have a Basketball or Football, go outside and play with the kids! Once they see that you are a part of the action, they will want to engage in more outside play. Outside play is always great for cognitive development and it lessens the chance of childhood depression significantly. If you have an inflatable pool, now is the perfect time to get it out to help with the heat! If the pool is big enough, get in and join the fun!
- Limit Screen Time: This piggybacks on point 4 significantly and I will try to go in-depth with this one. I know you are busy with work and bills and the other aspects of life and sticking your child in front of the tv or their mobile devices is easier but this has so many far-reaching implications. Did you know: Spending too much time on screens has been linked to not getting enough sleep, poor grades, and a greater risk of obesity? The AAP and other child health advocates have urged parents to limit screen time to no more than one or two hours a day for kids ages 2 and up. The same can be said about teens as they are at the age where the world is at their fingertips and they might want to engage in less than desirable activities online. Ensure you monitor the sites your children frequently browse and the time they spend online.
- Give them chores: Giving your child chores is not child abuse! This, of course, depends on the nature of the chores and the frequency! Again, children need structure and this is a great way to do just that. For smaller kids who are 3 and above, you want to encourage them to do small things like putting their toys away and making it fun! For the older kids chores can be from making their beds to washing the dishes. Yes, I’m Caribbean (Jamaican) and we wash our dishes by hand as opposed to using a dishwasher. Chores should be something you implement in your household from an early age so it does not seem strained or forced and children will have a positive attitude towards it as they grow older. This teaches children to be responsible and prepares them for the future.
I hope these tips helped to give you some idea of what to do if you have children at home. If there are any tips you did not see on the list, please tell us in the comments below. How are you coping with the kids being at home? Keep the conversation going in the comments below.