In our last blog post, I tackled some super practical ideas and encouragement for being thrust into working and learning at home (you can see that blog post here), but one thing I want to talk about today is dealing with #allthefeelings amidst social distancing and quarantine.
This is a true and real thing. We all have different personalities and temperaments, our children and ourselves included, and we all react to stressors differently. Some children will be almost ecstatic to be at home with their dogs or cats and activities cancelled, and some children will be absolutely bewildered and falling apart with the change in routine and rhythm. Some parents will feel rather elated at not having to go places and will feel comfortable enough jumping between work calls and helping with lessons set forth from the school, and some parents really are feeling the complete stress of trying to handle it all. Some parents are worried so much about the financial end of #covid19 which is so real, that it overshadows trying to work and do school.
Self care is a real need right now. This really isn’t just business as usual just transferred to the home. It’s so important to include self-care as a necessity during this time, because if you can set good priorities and boundaries, you can be a calming force in your home when your child might be feeling overwhelmed. Self-care looks like different things to different people. Maybe it’s a nap, maybe it’s taking a walk outside if you are allowed to do that or sitting on your apartment balacony. Maybe it is a warm bath or exercising or soothing music. Whatever that is , build it into your schedule.
Help your children. Smaller children love to hear stories, so telling stories about little animals that had to stay home but the fun family time they had can be helpful and soothing. Be calming and help them find stability in a rhythm that you create. Too much time to just “hang out” often completely backfires into grumpy children and younger teens. Having any semblance of a rhythm and balance will help normalcy.
But most of all, just listen. Listen to your children’s fears, listen to their disappointment. This is such a huge change for everyone. You don’t need to have the answers! Things like, “This is hard” or “I wonder that too” or “That is disappointing” is validating along with the love language that fills your child’s cup can be very helpful. Because it is hard, it is scary, it is disappointing to miss things.