Kids home from school. Partner working from home. We love our family, but being stuck inside with them throughout this pandemic is causing tempers to fray. Now we’re in week 3, our patience has been pushed to the limit. So, what can we do to maintain peace at home?
One thing is for sure; yelling is ineffective and raises everyone’s stress levels. Instead, come up with games that can turn challenges into family fun. Kids love to play, so when you’re playful too, you are working with your children rather than against them.
How do I teach my kids at home, like they’re at school?
Children need structure, so it’s important to set up a school-like schedule. Designate a section of your house for learning, and get your kids up, dressed, and ready at normal school time. No pajamas! Just like in school, there should be no phones, TV or any other distractions. Empower older kids by having them help younger ones and lead projects, then take advantage of their busiest times to focus on your own work. You’re bound to have a lot to do yourself!
Anticipate roadblocks, and use them as learning opportunities. Oh, and don’t forget to have some fun – it will lower everyone’s stress levels.
How am I going to get my normal chores done?
One of the benefits of having your kids at home is they can help with the housework! This not only keeps them busy, but also teaches them life skills. Motivate them by turning the chores into a game that incorporates something they enjoy. Do they like listening to music, singing or dancing? Bring it into the game – such as who can do the best dance whilst hoovering? Who can tidy their room the most before the song finishes?
Brainstorm other fun ideas with your kids. If they need an additional incentive, reward with stars and keep a star chart. These can be exchanged for fun activities like baking cookies, choosing the family movie or whatever your child enjoys.
How can I help my children manage their anxiety?
Have you considered teaching your children some deep-breathing exercises? You can incorporate some stretching, meditation or yoga moves into their new daily structure. There are plenty of videos online that can assist you, or that you work through together.
How can I keep the peace in such a closed space?
Guess what? You WILL get on each other’s nerves, so plan for it because conflict will definitely happen. Introduce Parent Court! Sit your kids in front of you, tell them you’re the judge, then allow each the chance to speak. Be open minded – they may have things to point out about your own behaviour! Consider introducing an item that must be held by the person speaking, to allow each the chance to talk uninterrupted. Whatever your approach, you’re teaching them conflict resolution skills.
This ongoing lockdown is transforming family lives overnight, but hopefully some of these approaches will improve difficult situations and help everyone in your family stay calm and sane.