Using This Uncertain Time for Good
By Rhyan Davis
Yes, this is a scary time in our lives. No, we’ve never experienced anything like it before. But let’s see these next few weeks as a rare opportunity to spend extra quality time with our families! If you’ve already been home for a few days and are tired of watching Netflix, here are a few extra ways to spend your time.
- Set aside a few extra hours each day to spend with your kids. Even during the summer, when kids are out of school, working parents are often pulled in many directions and feel that they aren’t able to give their kids the attention they crave. You may be working from home right now, but take at least a little time each day to spend time with your kids. Really play with them, give them your full attention, and learn things about them you didn’t know.
- It’s okay if you aren’t homeschooling your kids right now. Don’t be intimidated by other moms posting their families’ daily schedules on social media. How often do your kids really have a chance to totally relax? Even during the evenings or weekends, most kids have after-school activities and chores to complete. Let those chores go by the wayside for a few days. Everyone needs time to decompress and adjust to this unfamiliar situation. Doing nothing but playing video games or watching TV for a couple of days might do wonders for their mental health. They may have time to do things now that they’ve always wanted to try. That being said—we don’t know how long this virus will be around. If you begin to see negative changes in your kids, feel free to implement some new guidelines. There is no rulebook for how to parent in this situation. Everyone is figuring it out as we go.
- Just because you shouldn’t leave home doesn’t mean you can’t play outside. The weather is great—go get some fresh air! The possibilities of outside play are limitless: think “kids versus parents” soccer games, a nature scavenger hunt, or just walking the dog as a family. Don’t forget the basics, like bubbles and hopscotch. If you have older kids who aren’t as easily amused, try at least eating a meal together outside. Changing your usual setting may spark interesting new conversation topics, and some Vitamin D could have a big impact on how everyone feels, physically and mentally!
- One easy way to make memories is to have an all-out family movie marathon. Let each family member choose a movie for the family to watch, and make it extra special by giving each child his own popcorn, candy, drink, and blanket. Start early in the day (or split the marathon into 2 days) so you have time for all of the movies. You might even decide to camp out in the living room overnight and make it into a sleepover. Let your kids stay up past their bedtime—it just might lead to everyone sleeping in late together! If you don’t have time for a movie marathon, try game night instead. Let each family member choose a board or card game and play one round of each game. Winner gets to choose what’s for lunch the next day!
- Do your kids love receiving their own mail? Remind them that others do, too, and have them write cards and letters to friends and family. Set up a table with paper, markers, stickers, and stamps. Getting a heartfelt card from a child would brighten anyone’s day. If your child had a birthday recently, this is the perfect time to teach him how to write a thank you note—check that off your list!