One of the first measures that were taken to protect people from Covid-19 in many countries, was the permanent closure of all schools. Suddenly, as parents, we face a common problem. Kids, at home, sitting in front of a screen for endless hours and occasionally trying to catch our attention whilst we work from our laptop!
It takes brains not brawn:
What we need to consider, is setting a schedule for our kids. This schedule should start from the time they wake up until the end of their day. The first thing we have to do is explain to our kids the current situation and make them understand that even if they are at home, it is important to maintain a proper schedule as if they were at school.
Show me the way:
Sit together and organize a schedule on paper that you can later put in an easy-to-see place. Keeping them to a schedule makes it easy for you to get organized and allows you to maintain control of the amount of time they watch T.V or play video-games.
Set out their weekly schedule by noting down the things that they and you want to include. Include a variety of activities so they don’t get bored. Then, assign a duration to each activity. If you agree with your child about the sequence of the activities, you are ready to write out your schedule.
Be careful to adhere to the schedule for the first few days. The kids will try to test your limits but you need to be firm. If, for example, they are bored with reading a story give them an alternative, such as drawing. If, however, they insist on playing video games or watching T.V tell them with a calm voice whilst kneeling to their level, that they’ll lose tomorrow’s T.V time. Have in mind that you’ll have to keep your word the next day, otherwise you lose control.
Don’t accept changes to their schedule:
There are some days that you’ll need to allow extra time for an activity. If they are really focused on something don’t abruptly stop them. You can inform them that they have 5 more minutes or they can have 10 additional minutes to finish what they are doing. Note you have to be more “strict” when it comes to the duration of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Also, be aware of the number of snacks they eat per day because they might ask for more to avoid lunch or dinner.
Things to include:
Try to include as many different activities as you can. There is a variety of different activities such as crafts, playing free with toys like Legos, some kid’s movies that you can watch together, cooking together, etc.
Lastly, remember that spending time with your kids is an opportunity not only to get closer to them but also to enjoy the innocent years of their childhood.