This is a trying time and even with a strong dose of positivity it isn’t an ideal situation. So many changes, uncertainty, stress and lack of emotional support from our social networks are a strain mentally and the same goes for kids so they may be acting up. Here are a few tips for dealing with parenting in lockdown:
Lower your expectations, a lot
This may be the biggest thing you can do to keep your sanity. Many of us inadvertently raised our expectations when we readied ourselves for the challenge of dealing with lockdown. When yourself and your children are dealing with any major life changes or stress you wouldn’t normally expect to be on the top of your game. This is no different.
Structure your days around meal times or schoolwork times. But you can be creative. This is unique opportunity to do things your own way so you don’t necessarily need to replicate the routine that you’ve had in the past. Structure and predictability can be reassuring but also a bit boring sometimes so it’s ok to break from routine too.
Keep everyone active
Exercise increases levels of endorphins and helps everybody sleep better at night too. Get the kids to set up an assault course for you all to do or just turn to YouTube for Cosmic Kids Yoga or Joe Wicks’ P.E when you can’t be bothered with creativity!
Do the things you don’t usually have time for
Think of the things youGet a load of pots and pans out for teeny ones to bang on, set up a tent to camp in the garden with older kids or scavenger hunts work at pretty much any age. Or a pamper day, more crafts and baking? You can’t go wrong with more cake.
Give yourself a break
If your situation allows, have both parents take turns having a break and doing something for yourself. Family time is great but it’s not always easy being together 24/7. If taking time out isn’t so easy then the TV is fine. I think we all feel like watching more at the moment and the kids are no different. If that makes you feel too guilty then an audio book could be a better solution or let the kids find music that they like. Sometimes they play more happily with some noise in the background.
Make laziness a choice
So you’re not feeling motivated about making much of the day. Don’t feel guilty that you’re all still in your pjs at 2pm and the house is a state. It’s what you have chosen for that day. Take ownership of that choice. It didn’t just happen to you, you made it for a reason. Probably because you need a break.
Think positive (and negative)
The end is (kind of) in sight and many of us have found some positive elements to this new situation and learnt some surprising things about ourselves. But sometimes we don’t feel so upbeat and that’s hardly surprising. Don’t beat yourself up and feel you failed to be a positive person just because you’re having a rubbish day. It really does happen to everyone.