Jennie & Lynn Owens interview parents from around the world who share their top tips for making the most of staying at home with their kids during the COVID-19 pandemic
Staying Sane while Staying Home (with kids)
Thrive Parenting Podcast Episode #1
In our first episode of the Thrive Parenting Podcast, Jennie and Lynn interview parents from around the world, gleaning great ideas about staying sane while dealing with the challenges of life during the COVID-19 stay at home orders. Below is a summary of that conversation which can also be seen on youtube, or wheverever you get your podcasts.
Staying Sane while Staying Home (with kids)
I keep hearing celebrities and others talk about what people should be doing during all their “extra time”during the Coronavirus pandemic. Every time I hear it, I can’t help but think of those parenting children with extra needs, knowing that for them this time in quarantine could provide many challenges rather than extra time.
We asked our panel of parents what they were doing with their “extra time,” and, after they stopped laughing, they shared with us their tips on how they’re staying sane during this time while parenting a child (or children) with extra needs.
Get everyone active
- A family from Moldova who lives in an apartment shared that keeping the kids active had helped tremendously. They drive to a different place every day and spend around two hours hiking.
- Another family kept their children active by purchasing a piece of exercise equipment
- One mom shared that she goes for a run during her 15 minute break from work instead of sitting around.
- One mom, whose boys enjoy skateboarding, decided to purchase a long board so she could join in with them.
- A great resource one family shared was gonoodle.com. It provides a variety of ways to get kids (and parents) active, as well as some breathing exercises.
Use the resources you have
- One family had a relative who’d been furloughed from his job. They started using their daycare money to pay that relative to watch their kids while they worked. Others have been paying older children home from college to watch their younger children.
- The mom from that same family shared that she started using the candles and other treats she’d purchased for “special occasions.” She encouraged other to consider the quarantine a special occasion and to use those items you’ve held back using.
- A single mom recommended that people recruit relatives or others to read to kids via Skype or zoom to give themselves a short break. She also shared a resource for “virtual babysitting” called Virtual Babysitters Club (www.virtualbabysittersclub.com).
- With six kids at home, many of whom have special needs, one mom shared that she’s had to re-frame what she views as self care. “Getting a shower is now a huge deal….”
- Another mom reminded us that “This isn’t working from home. This is trying to work during a pandemic….” She has been trying to go easy on herself, reminding her that this is no easy task.
- Still other parents encouraged other families to maintain consistent bedtimes
Revisit an Old Hobby (or Take Up a New One) and Consider Including the Kids
- Since her children need a lot of help with homework, one mom has learned to crochet so she have something to do while they work.
- Another mom has started doing scrapbooking again.
- One dad took up a new online game to play with his friends.
- Another family was surprised when they paid for everyone to take an online art class together and all their kids, even the ones who don’t consider themselves artistic, loved it. (https://www.yaymaker.com/)
Take Creative Breaks
- The family from Moldova builds a break into their day that has helped their sanity. After they return from their hike, the kids have an hour or two of quiet time in their rooms.
- Others encourage consistent, early bedtimes for the night-owl parents to have some alone time or enforcing an early morning quiet time for early riser parents to have some time to themselves.
- Another family has come up with a creative way to have a date night. They provide each child with some form of electronics and dinner and send them into their rooms to play. While the kids are enjoying their screen time, the parents enjoy a movie and take out in the living room.
I hope that these ideas can help you find creative ways to spend all of your “extra time” while in quarantine.
Jennie & Lynn Owens
Jennie is a foster parent trainer and Author of the book Dancing with a Porcupine. Lynn is counselor, founder and co-owner of Canyon Lakes Family Counseling. Together they have parented over 100 kids including the 4 they adopted.
our Special Guests
This Week we are joined by:
Sasha and Sara Pascal
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