In times like these, it’s important for caregivers to remember to take care of ourselves. So, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most helpful advice we’ve seen of what to do while stuck at home during a pandemic with kids!
1) Keep the negative talk to a minimum. Remember, for better or for worse, children are sponges. They can observe the stress and anxiety that you’re exhibiting when you pace the floor of your house or lose your temper due to nerves. Try your best to keep those outbursts behind closed doors and away from your children.
2) Set those social media limits you’ve been thinking about setting for a while now. It can be tempting to check your phone constantly for breaking news that may be helpful to you, but chances are that it’s just making you more anxious. And children notice when you’re staring at your screen nonstop! Set those limits for both yourself and your kids.
3) If you’re able, set aside a space for yourself away from your kids and others. You’ll need this space, especially if you’re working from home. Set aside a little bit of time to meditate, pray, or whatever else you do to practice self care. You can’t take the best care of your kids unless you’re feeling good yourself!
4) Plan some activities to keep them busy. There are some ideas on what to do here!
5) Set a great example of kindness and community for your kids. If you’re able, donate a few bucks to your local food bank or help a neighbor by giving them some groceries. Explain to them that it’s important to help people if you are able to and in a position of privilege because it makes the world a better place. If you’re not able, there’s no shame in that! Even simple things like increasing the kind things you say to them or to your significant other, if you have one. Nothing will help them become great citizens of the world like showing them that we’re all in this together!
6) Use this as an opportunity to talk about grit and explain the concept of hard work. Sometimes difficult things happen, and life experiences like these are what equip us with the tools to deal with hardship in the future.
7) Take some time to talk to your kids about their worries and explain to them what’s going on. Kids are smart and, more likely than not, they know that there’s something big happening that everyone is freaking out about! How we talk about big topics has a large impact on your kids feeling safe. Let them explain to you what they’re worried about. Then, being careful and validating with your language, explain the situation to them using facts and what you’re doing to be careful. Answer any questions they have. They’ll appreciate being included in the conversation and be reassured that you’re doing everything you can to keep them safe!