This is definitely not an easy time for anyone.
Coronavirus has bought with it a feeling of lack of control, something we’re not used to at all.
Dealing with an unknown and invisible enemy is making us all feel understandably worried, scared and at times anxious.
We have no idea of what’s ahead or for how long it will last so it’s a good idea to see this moment as a golden opportunity to spend quality time together as a family unit.
This could be easier said than done so I thought I’d write down some ideas that could help you:
Ways to protect your sanity
- Take one day at a time
- Be kind to yourself
- Slow down
- Limit your exposure to media coverage
- Look for the good
- Keep a journal and write it all down
- Parent share and make sure to take lots of time out on your own
- Be present
- Stay connected with family and friends
Tips to help your children
- Reassure them that they are safe
- Let them talk about the way they feel
- Validate their emotions
- Share your coping strategies
- Remind them that you are all in it together
- Teach your children some breathing techniques. Download a mindfulness app and make time every day to come together with those who want to join
- Download their best audiobooks
- Read aloud a favourite family book every evening at the same time on the sofa
Tips for the family…
- Wash hands.
- Call a family meeting and together create a Family Charter where you jointly make up some homes rules that will help keep everyone on the straight and narrow with an empathise on being kind to one another. When youre making it be sure to practice active listening taking it in turns to listen to what everyonehas to offer. Get everyone in the family to sign in and when someone breaks a rule remind them of what they agreed to
- Establish set boundaries around screen time
- Make a worry box
- Create a schedule to share the household chores
- Practice gratitude
- Check in on each other
- Exercise outside every day; bike rides, walking, skateboarding, rollerblading etc.
- Make lots of time for joint family activities, puzzle doing, card playing, baking, cooking, language learning, joint telly watching, play producing, music-making, film creating….
- Get crafty
- Keep in touch with the neighbours
- Use music to set the mood you want to create at different times of the day
- Use puzzles, cookery, card games and board games as a way to bring everyone together
- Have regular mealtimes as a family around the kitchen table
…….and why not introduce
The Pasta Jar Game.
You can practice positive parenting by introducing the Pasta Jar Game.
Sounds like fun doesn’t it! 😉
Call it a game and by adding a bit of competition and a small prize you’ll get everyone’s to buy in to the idea and before you know it you’ll find everyone in the house will be trying very hard to please and you’ll be focusing your attention on good behaviour rather than the opposite.
How to play the game…
- Find jars for each child and label them with their names
- Put them somewhere obvious but out of reach
- Put a packet of pasta next door to the jars
- Tell the children that every time that they do something straight away when they are asked, or when they are seen doing something kind or helpful they will get a piece of pasta in their jar
- Look for any little good thing that they do to start off with so they see the reward is quick and almost instantaneous
- When their pasta jar is full then they will get a small reward like a comic or an extra 20 minutes on a screen
Good luck with it all and if you’re ever in need of a bit of moral support please get in touch via my website, I’d be very happy to help.