Due to the current pandemic, many families are experiencing significant disruptions in their daily lives which is causing an increase in feelings of anxiety, overwhelm and exhaustion. There is a lot of uncertainty as to when schools will finally resume and when it is safe for children to begin re-engaging in the world. Whilst our children are stuck indoors, we, as parents, are finding it difficult to keep them entertained without resorting to hours of screen time every day.
Here are some of my favourite ideas for entertaining your kids and strengthening family bonds:
- Create a Routine: When we are faced with so much uncertainty, it is especially important for us to instil some type of daily routine in our lives. This can provide a sense of control for every member of the family. Start by making a list of your daily tasks and then create a schedule around these.
- Create Space: We need both physical and mental space in our lives. No matter how much we love our children and our partners, we still need some downtime or self-care time, so make sure everyone gets their share of this precious resource. Some of my favourite ideas for self-care are: Listening to music, dancing around the house, taking a relaxing shower or bath, or going for a walk or hike and journaling. Self-Care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional and p[physical health. It’s different for everyone, so find what works for you, and encourage your children to find what works for them.
- Open ended Play: Instead of enrolling your children in more tutoring, plan some open-ended activities that encourage the use of social-emotional vocabulary and allow children to talk about their feelings. Lego building, Cooking or Crafting amongst others, are key activities that encourage the use of specialised vocabulary to explain the project. These are fun activities that also help with your children’s learning. Play and learning can go hand in hand.
- Structured Play: One of my favourite books, The Board Game Family by Ellie Dix, suggests that board games can develop interpersonal skills, boost confidence, and improve memory formation & cognitive capacity. Most importantly, it can bind together a happier and more social-cohesive family. I personally like the idea of having a family ritual of playing board games to increase the sense of togetherness.
If you are interested in scheduling an appointment with Lora Lee or would like to learn more about family therapy, please contact us today.