Have you been looking for tips to help you structure the days and weeks ahead? Phoenix Children’s Hospital has generously offered ideas for our community!
As parents, we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to keep our kids involved, learning and safe while they are home. The truth is, this is easier said than done and can feel overwhelming. Parenting is hard. Teaching is hard. Teaching your own kids while you’re all stuck at home indefinitely can seem impossible.
Take a deep breath – you are doing great already. The expectation isn’t that you see your kids through a full school day.
Tips to help you structure the days and weeks ahead:
You’re allowed to take breaks, watch TV, play games and relax. In fact, you should do all of those things. Here are a few tips that may help you decide how to structure the days and weeks ahead.
- Maintain routines (as much as you can). Although many kids are coming off spring break, resume bedtime and wake up routines and the normal times you use while school is in session. Kids feel safe in a predictable environment.
- Make a schedule. Have your kids help! Depending on the ages of your kids, vary amounts of time dedicated to work and free time. This should include time for learning, chores and fun!
- Let them teach one another. It can be hard when everyone is learning something different. Have older kids help “teach” the younger ones.
- Incorporate teaching into daily activities. For example, baking involves measuring, science and math. Plus, you get a yummy snack for your break. Again, this is something everyone can do together.
- Use what you have. Teach young kids about germs and washing hands. Teach school age kids about social responsibility with social distancing. For adolescents, you can help them learn how to spot reliable and unreliable sources of information.
- Have fun together! Taking a break is good for your mind and body. Play board games, have a movie night or solve a puzzle.
- Move your body! Go outside, play musical chairs, learn a dance together. Lots of places are offering free home workout resources right now, so take advantage.
- Stay connected- remotely. FaceTime, Skype or call family members and friends. You could even have a virtual playdate.
- Relax. Take deep breaths, do yoga or find a fun meditation made for kids. All of these will help reduce anxiety for everyone in the family.
We hope you found these tips to help you structure the days ahead and weeks ahead valuable! The most important lesson our kids can learn is that there are consistent, reliable adults who love them! If things don’t go according to plan, or if your family just needs a day spent hanging out in their pajamas, that’s okay! We will all get through this, and we are here to help.
Thank you Phoenix Children’s Hospital for your timely and generous contribution on tips to help you structure the days and weeks ahead!
Dr. Bachini has been working in behavioral health since 2001. After graduating with a degree in psychology, she worked in behavioral health hospitals, schools and social services, which provided her with opportunities to see children in various stages of development and in varied life circumstances.
She went to medical school at Drexel University School of Medicine and completed both her residency and child and adolescent fellowship at Maricopa Medical Center.
Dr. Bachini serves as an advocate for children and their families, where she strives to help parents, educators, and all those in a child’s world come to understand the unique circumstances that have shaped their minds and continue to influence their behaviors. Through speaking at conferences and in the community, Dr. Bachini hopes to help destigmatize mental health and empower children and their families.