10 Tips for Surviving - and Maybe Even Enjoying! - Lockdown with Kids
As everyone keeps saying, these are unprecedented times. We are in the middle of lockdown across the UK and many families have been stuck at home together now for the same length of time as the summer holidays.
At this point, you may be at the end of your tether, wondering how you’ll cope at home any longer and looking for ways to keep the whole family happy whilst working, doing schoolwork and keeping everyone fed and watered.
How to Survive Lockdown with Kids
Living through lockdown is different for everyone. People live in all different types of homes, they have families of different shapes and sizes and they have varying living conditions. The one thing that ties us all together is the urge to get through this, to do our bit and to eventually see the end of the coronavirus.
Here are a few tips to help you and your family get through lockdown with your sanity still intact and still loving each other at the end of it.
1.THE PRIORITY IS TO GET THROUGH EACH DAY
At times like this, the juggle is real. There will be jobs to do, schoolwork for the children to do, meals to cook, rooms to clean, washing to do - an endless list of tasks to get through each day. When it comes down to it though, the most important thing is just getting through. It’s about surviving. Take each day as it comes, do what you can and if you get to bedtime then you have won another day.
2.DON'T PUT TOO MUCH PRESSURE ON YOURSELF
It can be easy to see all the jobs you need to do and feel stressed and anxious about them all building up - but you can only do what you can do. Write a list each day of the things that really need to be done, take your time working through them and anything extra you achieve is a bonus.
3.GIVE THE CHILDREN INDEPENDENT TASKS
Your children will all have differing needs depending on their ages and abilities. If you can give them activities to do that can be done without constant supervision it will obviously make things easier.
This could be doing a jigsaw, working through an educational app or a worksheet that school has given, reading a book, colouring in or even just watching TV. If your children have chunks of time where they can focus on a task it will free up time for you to work or do other things that you need to do.
4.CHALLENGE THE CHILDREN TO WORK TOGETHER
If you have more than one child they could work together to accomplish tasks or to do schoolwork. An older sibling could listen to the younger one read or read to a younger one for a storytime session. They could create fun activities to do together or could work together to accomplish building a fort or tower.
5.HAVE A ROUTINE
Most children really love to have a routine and know what they’ll be doing each day. Maybe have a typical school day where everyone is up and ready by 9am, a morning break, lunch break and free time once the schoolwork is done. Then dinner, bath and bed.
Routines don’t have to be too regimented so find one that works for you. It could be a full school timetable, free flowing activities that you decide on as you go or even nothing more than a wake up time and a bedtime with daily exercise at some point in between.
6.USE THE DAILY EXERCISE ALLOWANCE TO YOUR BENEFIT
Many families would not cope without their daily stint of exercise. Vary what you do each day - walk, scoot, cycle and go on a different route every time. Have a game of nature bingo - spotting insects, trees or flowers whilst you walk.
Some families will prefer having their walk at the same time each day but others may find it best to skip a day every now and then or just leave the house when the whole family needs it most - in the morning to get them set up for the day or in the mid-afternoon when tempers are strained. A walk always does the world of good.
7.EXERCISE AT HOME TOO
The daily outing doesn’t need to be your only exercise and many families have loved doing the Joe Wicks workouts each morning. Home exercises can be a great way of keeping children occupied whilst seeing a health benefit too. Everyone seems to feel better after they’ve been moving for a while!
8.MAKE HOUSEHOLD TASKS A PART OF THE CHILDREN'S DAY
There are so many jobs that need to be done in every family home so why not enlist the children’s help as part of their day? Children can help make beds before the day starts in the morning and they can help to sort washing into colours ready for the washing machine.
Have a home economics lesson each day where the children learn to make a meal or bake a cake together. You could have gardening lessons and grow seeds in the garden, on a balcony or even on a window ledge.
9.LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS
As much as we would all love to have a routine and do all the work that is set out whilst doing our day jobs from home and cooking a nutritious dinner, sometimes something has to give.
At times like this we all need to give ourselves a break, have lower expectations and just get through the day. Have picnic dinners in front of the TV, eat whatever is in the cupboards or fridge, sack off the schoolwork for a day, let the children use their tablets for longer than they usually would... do what you need to do to get through.
10.TRY NOT TO WORRY
Every child and every family across the country are doing the same thing - trying to survive this new normal. Try not to worry about how much work the children are doing, how much screen time they’re having or whether they’ve had too many snacks. Just get through it - it will all be ok in the end.
How to Enjoy Lockdown with Kids
Lockdown for most families will be about survival but it can also be fun. It’s extra time together that many families don’t usually have and children will look back and remember how much time they spent with their parents and siblings.
Let the children have sleepovers in each other’s rooms, camp in the garden, have a movie night with sweets and popcorn or eat pizza in the garden. There are no set rules at the moment and you are free to make up new rules that work for you and your family. Make this time fun if you can, try to enjoy as much of it as you can and if all else fails - watch TV, go for a walk and hug the kids. You are doing your best, remember that.