It’s 4:30 AM. I am awake and drinking coffee. I didn’t need an alarm to wake me. I’m mentally preparing my mind and heart for another awesome Sunday in KidZTown, like I’ve done for the last 20+ years…it’s in my DNA.
For you and your family, tomorrow will be different. Way different.
For your school-age children, their world has changed. Dramatically.
You’ve been on your phone most of the day. The TV has been on the news channel continually and you finally made it back from your TP run, empty-handed, but not without some frustration. So you vent. I did.
Children are like sponges. They absorb your attitude. Are you frustrated? They can tell. Are you worried? They know. Are you concerned about what your new normal will look like? They are, too.
Although these next few weeks may be uncertain, we are certain that the Lord has us in his strong, right arm. Psalm 89:13. Point your children to the Lord. They need to see your faith and your confidence in Him as He works everything out for our good and His glory.
For those parents who are blessed to be able to work from home, your elementary age children will still need and want your attention throughout the day. Your employer knows it’s going to be a challenge, but also knows you’re going to try your best to make it work. You may need to adjust your schedule to work in the evenings or at night, if possible. Perhaps you could enlist a relative or family friend to assist you, so you can work more productively. From what I’ve read from pediatricians and other experts, it’s best to stay within the circle of your immediate family or close friends, which limits the risk of exposure to your family.
Here are 5 tips to help make your day go smoothly:
- Make a workable schedule together – block off times when you absolutely need to focus on your work; make STOP and GO signs so your children can know when they can approach you..for yet another snack. Goodness… why are these kids so hungry? BONUS TIP: make and put your children’s names on some individual snack bags and water or juice cups that your children can enjoy without asking for your permission or your help.
- Set up boundaries – decide together what is permissible and what isn’t; what is an emergency and what isn’t.
- Choose some independent kid-friendly activities – movies, videos, crafts, books, puzzles, art projects or games that they can safely choose to do on their own, without your constant intervention or help.
- Take frequent breaks – eat your meals together. It’s a great way for children to stay in their regular daytime routine. Go outside and get some fresh air and sunshine. Check in often to make sure they are following the plan, staying safe and feeling connected. Silence may be golden…it could also mean something’s up!
- Pray and laugh together – find moments when you can pray together. It helps bring them back in focus. Laugh. A lot. Do some silly things together. Make memories. Your children weren’t here for Katrina, but they will remember COVID-19. We all will. I heard about one little boy who gave his mom a great big kiss and said, “Now you’ve got the “Corner Virus” with me.” God’s got this…we’re in HIS corner.