17 April 2020 – by Eileen

It is necessary to have realistic expectations for yourself and your children during these pandemic lockdown days. There’s going to be a lot of stress, uncertainty, and more time in each other’s space than usual. It is better to focus on connection, maintain a consistent structure, don’t start any habits for yourself or for your kids that you will have a hard time undoing in the future, be open with your children and listen to them. Recognize all of us are going to make mistakes because this is all new and there is no map or plan for it. Empower yourself by taking time to get to know you better and also understanding your kids at a deeper level. You must have a self-care routine for yourself. Our mental health is key to supporting our children. It also serves as a good model for the kids. A cup of tea, listening to your favourite song, dancing, bubble bath, meditation, sitting outside, whatever it is. And stick to it every day, especially on days that are gloomy outside and inside.

The most important thing to a child is your time. They want your undivided attention.  Since problem-solving skills are not taught directly in the classroom, they are part of everyday life building skills. And also it is important to provide children real-world examples . Now in the lockdown period since you have a little more time to spend with your kids,  so plan to invest it in teaching them life skills for their survival. You can work on self-regulation activities of kids, while at home like toilet training, independent skills etc and take this opportunity to teach them about cooking and house cleaning, and also a little bit of budgeting.

It is understood that due to the long period of lockdown, the majority of you would be extremely annoyed and frustrated. But it is important to have compassion for yourself and for your family during these days, understanding that everyone in the home is dealing with it differently and acknowledging that. Do whatever it takes to practice a little self-care so you can show up for your kids. Play with kids a lot, be goofy with them, play silly games, dance and laugh. Take a break once in a while when you feel like it’s getting too much, take turns if possible with a spouse and do something for yourself in another room with no kid around.

Make sure that you take some quiet, alone time. You need to reset so that you can go back out there and be your best. Be happy and stay positive. Your children need you!