Parenting, whether foster or not, comes with regular every day challenges. Now, with the world experiencing a pandemic, the level of parenting has increased. Many households have gone from adults going to work and kids going to school, to everyone at home together all the time. That is a lot to navigate.
Keep it Simple
Furthermore, this time in our culture as the USA and even a global community, is new for everyone. So what is the “all knowing adult” of a household to do? Well, CHADD, Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, has some accessible and universal tips to help boost Resilience and Routine for Families During The Pandemic.
Focus on staying resilient.
Our mental health relies on our physical routines, all too easily lost during times of change.
- Exercise—Daily exercise will make your children happier, even if they complain—and probably make you happier too. Regular exercise affects mood, energy level, learning and more. If you can’t get outside, old-school calisthenics for a set time are great, or seek out online programs like the Seven Minute Workout or yoga for kids.
- Sleep—Actually, sleep may be the easiest thing to manage while school is out. But remember, a consistent routine, including a consistent bedtime, encourages better sleep.
- Nutrition—Eat healthy as you’re able. Don’t use food to keep kids happy. Stay with a balanced diet. Cooking is also a great activity when caught inside all day.
- Screen time—Seriously, stay on top of screen time. Kids who spend more time on screen get agitated, edgy, and wound up. Open-ended limits lead to more arguing. Set an amount, and a time, and that’s all. For adults—do the same, particularly by taking breaks from the news through most of the day. It is far easier to set limits and adjust than to create new ones after a difficult situation develops. Use time on screen wisely, and concisely.
- Relationships—One of the best uses for screens is in sustaining relationships with true friends and family. Use technology well. Support your family, and your children, by reaching out regularly to friends and relatives during these stressful times.
Create structure and routine.
Being outside our routine unsettles all of us. Both adults and children may be happier with a rough schedule day to day. Use a piece of paper or whiteboard and post it somewhere for everyone.
- Schedule all your healthy activities, like exercise.
- Set aside time for schoolwork if your school is assigning it, or other hobbies and intellectual pursuits.
- Schedule and prioritize whatever else you’d like, like family time or outdoor time.
- Create a chore schedule to keep your physical environment together—or maybe even, use the time home to take on bigger projects (cleaning a closet, giving away toys).
They go further to lay out mindfulness practices, how to support your kids through online learning, and preventing the spread of the virus.
Even though we at Victor Family Resource Center can’t physically be with you at this time, we still want to support you digitally by providing resources and sharing in this experience together.