Mar 23, 2020 Even though the future is uncertain, it is quite possible there are rough times ahead. The days and weeks ahead will be full of new and different challenges.
In our efforts to limit the spread of the Coronavirus, we are forced to spend a lot of time in isolation. Since many of you parents are now going to be working remotely from home, and at the same time having to take care of your children (who are most likely at home too because of school closures), one obvious question arises: how do you balance everything and keep calm?
Many parents will experience stress and anxiety, so how do we keep from transferring these feelings on to other family members? How should you even organize your day efficiently? In this article we present you seven short tips on how to cope with the current situation, be efficient in your work, and still spend quality time with your family!
1. Take care of yourself and try to find some peace of mind
In these times, it is more important than ever to realize that to keep a peaceful environment at home, you first need to find peace within yourself and find structure in your thoughts. If you let the chaos and panic get the best of you and let your thoughts go wild, you will transfer this mood on to your partner and your little ones.
While reading news about the Coronavirus, staying up-to-date, and educating yourself on the topic can be helpful, it might also be one of the main reasons for negative thoughts and thinking about dark scenarios. Therefore, limit yourself! Keep yourself updated on the current situation and listen to experts’ opinions, but do not read everything about it. There are a lot of posts about the Coronavirus on social media nowadays, with many of those being false or, even just plain idiotic. They could not be further from the truth, and they only reinforce the feelings of panic most of us feel at this moment.
So, next time when you wake up, don’t immediately open your browser and read the news, but rather take time for yourself, focus on being calm, and get your thoughts straight.
2. Start your day with breathing exercises, meditation, or exercise
As previously mentioned, starting your daily routine with relaxing techniques that are proven to release stress will be one of the most beneficial things you can do to prepare yourself for the challenges you are going to face during the day.
Breathing exercises can be really effective for parents, and even just a couple of minutes daily can create a huge shift in your mental well-being.
Tip: A simple breathing exercise for beginners
Breath in and count to four, and then slowly exhale and count to six. Repeat this exercise 10 times. It will help you calm the flow of your thoughts, which means you can practice it multiple times per day and even in the evening before going to bed – especially if you have trouble sleeping.
The same idea applies to meditation. Others might find doing physical activity more beneficial, as it has been proved that humans release hormones of happiness during physical activity. There are plenty of videos available online teaching you how to meditate or exercise at home, so go ahead and give it a try.
3. Talk honestly about the situation with your children
It is of vital importance to explain to your children the reasons why their schools are closed, why we can’t socialize outside with our friends, why only one parent goes to pick up groceries, etc. Explain to them that these rules will only apply for a certain amount of time, that we are in it together, and that by obeying these rules, we will best take care of each other. But make sure you give this information to them in a peaceful manner without putting too much emphasis on unnecessary detail.
Make sure to tell them there is a solution to every problem, and that the current situation doesn’t make us helpless. Quite the contrary, by following these rules we can limit the spread of the Coronavirus and protect ourselves and others from it.
One thing to also bear in mind is the fact, parents should limit and set boundaries for how much kids are exposedtonews (either on TV, radio, or on the internet). If they are younger than 14 years old, make sure we don’t expose them to news channels. They absolutely do not require detailed information about the current situation. Based on their age, it is only important we only give them basic information about what the Coronavirus is all about, and how to behave to prevent its spread.
4. Families should talk honestly about their feelings
In such situations that are new for us all, it is normal to become overwhelmed with feelings of fear, anxiety, and even depression. As for us adults, the same applies for our kids. And because of that, you should talk honestly about your feelings in the days of the quarantine.
Honest conversation is a great way to improve the mental health of your kids. Ask them how they feel, help them put their feelings into words. Give them space to express their feelings without minimizing the importance of how they feel. Let them know that it is completely normal to feel what they feel, and that the same goes for us sometimes. One idea is also to do the aforementioned breathing exercises or meditation together with your little ones. They can be great and fun activities to do together, and they will teach them how to relax and remain calm, which is also an amazing skill that will be beneficial for them in the future!
5. Organize your time well to complete all the daily tasks
Most of you super parents will now be faced with a lot of challenges. You will have to work remotely while actively taking care of your children. You will have to make sure they follow the school curriculum while at home, and keep them engaged and entertained. On top of that, you will have to prepare daily meals for your family and take care of the household chores. But if you will remain calm and organize your time efficiently, you can do everything!
Make sure you outline a daily schedule for your little one, and assign time for school activities and various free-time activities. It is very useful to create a schedule together with your kid(s) for each week separately, which should be based on their age. Structures will give everyone a feeling of safety and being in control of the situation.
6. Spend quality time with your children and introduce smart screen time: Speech Blubs can help here!
Make sure we don’t forget to spend quality time together as a family. Cuddle, talk, play different games together, and take use of smart screen time with apps such as Speech Blubs!
It would be a bad idea to just put your kids in front of TV for them to continuously watch cartoons. Now is the perfect time to engage in activities that we often neglect. You can do so many things together while staying at home; bake cookies or bread, play board games, read, draw, dance, sing, and more. You can even include them in taking care of the household chores. It is a great opportunity to introduce them to smart screen time to learn! Here we believe Speech Blubs can truly make a difference!
Speech Blubs is a speech learning app that has been designed in cooperation with speech therapists, parents, and KIDS! It offers a variety of activities that will engage your child to practice on speech, while also learning about things like animals, objects, vehicles, feelings, and more. Speech Blubs is equipped with riddles, guessing games, songs, and games to keep them entertained, and provides a great opportunity for you to spend quality time together.
Speech Blubs is available in English and Spanish and comes with a FREE trial. So, go ahead, and give it a try!
7. When it gets tough, take a step back and try to stay positive
It goes without saying that there will be tough times in the coming weeks while we stay at home, despite your trying to be patient and optimistic. It might get tough for your little ones too, and it will be even more apparent for them.
If that happens, it is important to give them a chance to get some time alone, if they need it. Make sure you give the same option to yourself. We are not meant to take on a role of being their free-time entertainer all of the time.
Tip: Practice gratitude with a bedtime routine
Every evening before sleep, get together with your kids and find five reasons that we are grateful in the current situation. Gratitude is an amazing antidote to fear! And it has been proven to improve the mental health of us and kids, as well.
And when times get really tough, remember: you are not alone, we are all in this situation together. This is a situation that is only temporary and it will pass. To make sure it will pass as soon as possible and with as few consequences as possible, self-isolation, staying at home, and following the rules set by experts can make a big difference!
Stay safe and healthy!
Speech Blubs App Helps Your Child Catch up!
Make sure to download the Speech Blubs app: available in App Store, Google Play Store, and on our website! Work on imitation and articulation skills, build vocabulary to express needs, and converse more! Set your personalised goals now and start learning.
Speech Blubs is a learning app for everyone: If you want to work on language development or your child has a speech delay, autism, Down syndrome, hearing loss, tongue tie, cleft palate, or Apraxia – kids find this app very helpful. More than 4+ million parents tried the app – see what they have to say about it.
You get free access to Parents Academy and educational videos about speech development in the app. You can even talk to our speech therapist if you have concerns! If you are still unsure, watch our free webinar with speech therapist Tori or join our Facebook Group for parents.