Handling children during lockdown is rough, feels like life is going in circles. Don’t know what day it is.There’s no routine. We try to maintain some kind of system so the boys know that morning happened, and night came. The in-between is a bit fuzzy. I try not to guide their activities too much. This is an excellent opportunity for them to expand on what they already know about their surroundings.
We do have to recognize that there are very many ways to raise children. There are so many ways to create healthy and happy minds. My idea of what I want my child to be may not be the same as you when I go forward and express my opinion that does not mean that I’m disrespecting yours. Right now, this is for those you agree with me, for those who want to move forward with the way some of us are trying to spend our days with our children in quarantine. Here it comes.
I’m about to reveal something that will put me in the most uncool mom’s list, but I have got to speak my truth. While there’s a lot of buzz about everyone parenting their way these days, it appears there are a few things one cannot do as a parent. If you do, you are automatically cast out of the ’laid back cool mom’ club. I never applied to that club, to begin with, so I think I’m safe.
My kids are not watching a lot of TV. On regular days they would go weeks without technological entertainment. It feels as though this is a negative thing to say nowadays. I understand where most people are coming from. Parents are judged for letting their kids watch tv, so they’re on the offense most times. The parents who try to keep their kids away from tv are deemed pretentious because all the other parents feel attacked even when people like me are just voicing our opinions.
You have researched and chosen by your children. I have done the same. I don’t think it’s okay for either one of us to make the other one feel inadequate about our choices as parents.
Anyways, the point I was trying to make is that I thought I would not be able to accomplish this while stuck in the house. I’ll admit, they’re watching more than I’d like them to. However, I did think I was going to want to plop them in front of the TV every chance I got.
That has not been the case.
The world has been different outside and inside, as well. By no means has it been easy. Riding the bike and finding joy in little things has become a standard in our house.
When designing activities for them, I try to remember what we did when we were young.
No one made a schedule for our fun time. Being told how to have fun and how to spend every minute of every day must be suffocating.
We had the freedom to explore, and we had the privilege to learn from our own experiences. They are finding out what activities they enjoy—discovering new things about themselves. Every day is a new adventure for all of us. Not always in a good way, I’ll admit.
I give them tasks and ideas that they have never considered before. Sometimes it’s a complete miss. Sometimes we discover a new talent or an interest.
They have been using their imagination to draw and make unbelievable stuff; Not that reality isn’t incredible enough right now.
What would the world look like if all the trees were gone?
How would you feel if you could never have milk again? Surprisingly enough, this topic got two whole paragraphs. You can substitute milk for any other food or item they care about. The idea is to make them think about a different world. Imagine what isn’t or what could be.
Of course, the everyday activities, the routine, the homework, all of that will go on. These are some things to keep their mind occupied and stimulated without that which should not be named because the second it is named, it is impossible to make them forget about it.
Kids don’t always want to be running around.
If they want to have lazy hours, these are situations we are likely to put something on for them or hand them a device. Find lighter activities that don’t use so much brain and physical effort, for example, gather a bunch of branches, sticks, legos, recycled paper, cardboard turns it into a maze. They can sit on the floor next to you and use marble to play while you work or even watch tv in secret on your phone without them ever finding out.
I don’t like to have the children in my room too much, which is extremely hard to accomplish these days. The best solution that I’ve found is to go to the part of the house that I want them to be in; That will become their activity center, they will get used to going there when working on projects, which in turn will be easier for you to move away from that area and get some time away from the kids.
Time away for us is, of course, extremely important.
After all, this is another benefit of the devices and tv, that they leave us alone.
I have found some classes on puppetry or origami or both; my boys love them, kind of like a two in one project. First, you make it; then, you get to play with it. You can find age appropriate classes for either one. Come to think of it. You can find many other courses to teach just about anything. The kids can be near you, not talking to you, not asking for help, and still completing a project. Just amazing.
I also have them read short stories then continue the story from their own imagination.
Make background stories for different toys and objects. Making stories for objects lying around the house is a bit more interesting because it makes them think harder, get more creative. Find objects from the living room or the bedroom, such as a talking sofa that is tired of carrying people’s burdens or a refrigerator that’s saddened by the insane amounts of spoiled food.
Give these a try, tell me what you think. How well do these work?
Just as adults, children of any age are fearful and anxious as well. They have questions they don’t know how to ask. I have noticed that mine are much more clingy. Even though both their parents are home, they seem to want us around all the time.
At a younger age, it’s difficult to put the uncertainty and confusion into words for children, so maybe it is better just to let them get used to the new environment gradually. Try not to put too much pressure on them by heavy routines and schedules.
We have been having some amusing conversations about what’s going on in the world with the kids, which I would love to share with all of you.