These are trying times for parents. Being stuck home with small children can be isolating. Without playdates, the days can drag on and on. Parents of teens are also struggling. Teens do NOT like being told they can’t hang out with their friends, and they’re using choice words to tell parents how they feel about the situation.
With six kids between the ages of 10 and 20, I knew I had to keep this family organized. I also wanted to avoid too much screen time. If you’re in the same boat, here are a few helpful reminders:
Create a Schedule: Many families function best when there is a plan and expectations are laid out. I created a schedule that includes outdoor time, creative hour, academics, educational gaming, free time and chores. If you have your children help create the schedule, they will be more likely to engage and comply with it. Having the kiddos on board and invested in the schedule is a key to success
Boredom: It’s OK for kids to get bored. Often boredom ignites creativity. Parents are not the entertainment systems for our children. Allow kids to figure out how to keep themselves busy. If anyone is complaining about boredom at my house, it leads to a wonderful chore!
Parent Guilt: Don’t get sucked into feelings of guilt. As the Co-founder of Mabel’s Labels, I have a business to run and labels to sell! While I’m mostly working from home, I have had to create boundaries, so my children are not constantly interrupting me. It’s OK for parents to let their kids know that they need their work time respected. Set up a workspace and work time and let the kiddos know your expectations. This is no time for the inmates to be running the prison.
This is a tricky time to be parenting. Setting up a schedule and keeping your cool might just be what will help you survive this time with your little darlings. Good luck – you’ve got this!