In these strange times, there are a lot of us out there dealing with particularly difficult coworkers. You might know the kind we’re talking about. They cry. They come out of nowhere and physically assault you. They leave their juice boxes everywhere.
No, we’re not talking about Larry in accounting. We’re talking about your kids. Those little bundles of joy, the pride of your life, and the absolute terror of your quarantined work day.
With the closures of schools, daycares, and job sites, many of us are having to do our own daycare while, at the same time, managing our usual workload. For many of us, this has been, well, difficult.
We love our children. We want the absolute best for them. I think, by now, we can also all agree that childcare providers ought to be paid several hundred million dollars apiece.
What follows is the Finney County Guide to managing your children’s cabin fever, while maintaining your own precious sanity.
Don’t Be Hard On Yourself When You Have to Relax Your Rules
You set rules at home. Strict schedules with limits for things like screen time and sweets. Most of the time, you stick to those schedules.
Working from home is going to make that a LOT more difficult. So if you find yourself having to relax those rules, i.e. allowing repeat viewings of Frozen so you can finish that one important email, well, do it.
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Try to Stick to a Schedule
That said, kids DO respond to schedules. If there’s another parent in the house, try taking turns with the kids. Knowing you’re up in an hour might force you to focus extra hard and get more done.
Again, if this isn’t possible, then it isn’t. We’re not asking anyone to be a superhero (more than you already are).
Try to encourage certain parts of the day to be spent on quiet activities. On our website you’ll find resources such as coloring pages/activity pages which may keep the kids entertained for a little while.
Kids are like sponges. Even if the news has you feeling glum and you’re struggling to find the good in the world, try not to show that to the kids. As parents we’ve only got a limited time where they want to be around us a lot, and it’s important to try to remember that.
Don’t do it for yourself, do it for yourself in 20 years!
Don’t be Too Hard on Them
Being a kid is like practice mode for being adults. No matter what kind of limits you set for them, they are going to push the boundary.
Think about this: the only reason that you’re able to recognize when someone cheats you or is unfair is because you tested limits and you learned what being unfair was!
Now, we’re sure your rules are perfectly logical and reasonable, but if you want your child to learn that, they’re going to have to press against them.
Try not to overreact, even when your patience is at it’s most frayed. Remember your kids are learning the basic skills they’ll need in adulthood and that involves pushing the envelope. And yes, driving you crazy in the process! (Where was that Frozen DVD?)
Go a Little Crazy
Quarantine got you in a weird mood? Embrace it! Dance like a fool and sing crazy songs to your houseplants! Your kids will feel like they’re seeing a side of you they don’t see much, and maybe you’ll all end up feeling closer as a result.
Ask for Help
We are living through a strange time, where the babysitters, grandparents, and friends we all rely on to help us raise our kids aren’t able to be there, physically, to help.
There may be times where you feel completely alone, but we’re here to tell you, you aren’t! Call loved ones. Skype them, Zoom them, do whatever you’ve got to do to stay in contact with loved ones during this time.
We’re sure they’re missing you as much as you’re missing them, and only by coming together are we going to be able to make it through this thing.
If things feel like they’re getting to be too much, look to places where you can trim some stress. Maybe drop some of the volunteering you do in order to preserve the energy you need for other things. If you’re finding it hard to cook, have one night a week where you food prep.
This is a unique time and a new experience for all of us. We’re all going to have to make changes and sacrifices to get through, and it starts with caring for each other, and caring for ourselves.
Find an Activity
Looking for fun activities for the kiddos (or their parents)? If so, we’ve created some Garden City-themed activity pages just for you!