Tips To Avoid The Dreaded ‘I’m Bored’ When At Home With The Kids
How To Deal With The Kids' Boredom
Having the kids home for school holidays can be stressful enough, but parents are having to dig deep into their reserves during this unprecedented crisis. Are you looking for the energy to entertain and cope with everything that is going on?
For inspiration and tips, read on.
Make a schedule
First off, you need to create a schedule if you haven’t already. This doesn’t have to be set in stone, you can adapt and change it as required. If your kiddos are old enough, get them involved in the planning. You know your children, so create a plan that will work for them. It does not have to follow a school schedule. Select the times you know they will focus on what they have to do, whether it follows the plan of a conventional day or not.
Add in some activities, like educational sessions that make use of technology. The internet and kid-friendly devices can be incredible tools. While they may not be able to have playdates with their friends, don’t forget that there are plenty of social games that kids can use to interact with their friends. Of course, supervise their activities as you see fit and ensure they’re aware of how to be safe online.
Physical education is vital for kids and adults alike. If you have no garden for them to play in, find some YoTube exercise videos. You can even join in with these yourself! Try looking for a few different beginner sessions in various types of exercise. Consider line-dancing, kickboxing, tai chi, yoga or ballet. The possibilities are endless.
Make sure they wake up and go to sleep at the same time during the week. Of course, there can be some flexibility on the weekend depending on the ages of your kids. You can find examples of schedules online if you need inspiration, including this one on Instagram.
It might be daunting to consider teaching your kids. How do you find ways to occupy them and keep sane in the process? It can be done, and yes, you can even have some wine after they’ve gone to bed. Getting kids to listen to you is tough, especially when you are their parent and not their teacher. Don’t panic, check out the following tips. Plus, when in doubt, you can always print out some engaging activity sheets while you plot your next move.
Don’t throw anything away
You have to make use of what you can find in your home for activities. Save the toilet rolls, egg cartons, empty bottles, whatever you can use in creative craft time. Think beyond paints and crayons. Try crafting collages with spare material or old magazines.
Ask and encourage questions
What can we make with this? How can we make an aeroplane? What would happen if you...? How could you change...? Encourage creativity by asking questions that spark their curiosity. Plus, answering questions put to you by the kids is important. If you don’t know the answer, say so. Perhaps you can work together on discovering the answers. The internet is an amazing resource, as are encyclopaedias and books!
Make time fluid
If the kids are involved in an interesting creative project, don’t stop them. After all, you are not in a classroom, and your plans for the day don’t have to be rigid. Adapt and change.
Work with your home
Space might be tight, but you can adapt various rooms and corners to become learning areas. Somewhere they can work undisturbed is best. Try not to set them up where they will be uncomfortable or easily get distracted.
It’s not all about schoolwork
Taking time away from school can be worrying for both kids and parents. Accept that the situation might not be perfect, and that’s ok. There will be time to catch up. Give your kids the chance to talk about their worries and fears with you. Educational toys are a great way to make learning fun. Encourage them to do research and be independent in their learning. Developing this skill will help them throughout their lives.
On the topic of life skills …
Life skills are not usually part of a school curriculum. Remember, learning at home does not have to be limited to academic subjects. Teach them to fold clothes, iron, plan a menu and take care of the home. Encourage them to contribute to family chats. Let them learn to interact better with their siblings. They will gain social confidence and feel comfortable expressing their ideas.
Manage screen time
Be in control of their screen time, whether it be on the computer, TV or games console. Negotiate with the kids, or let them earn extra screen time by doing other jobs. Have tech and non-tech times both for school, work and play. Let them take responsibility for managing their own time. Teaching time management by including it in their daily routine is a great life skill for them to learn. You could plan a family movie night where you each take a turn choosing the movie.
Look after yourself
You can’t look after others if you have not taken care of yourself. Your patience is going to be tested, as is your tolerance. You must have some ‘you’ time both as parents, both together and on your own. Make the boundaries clear, teach your kids to respect them, and they will learn that time to recharge is valuable for them too.
Adjustments can be hard, and especially when there is a lot of uncertainty around you. Staying connected is going to help your mental health. Use the phone, Skype or What’sApp. Consider connecting with other parents from your kid’s classes or join an online chat. Don’t be afraid to express your concerns to partners, family and friends. In turn, be patient and understanding when they need to talk.
Treat yourself and your partner to a movie night or spa night. Even gift them (or yourself) with an indulgent pamper hamper that will make that night at home memorable.
Family time is essential, be that doing an activity like a jigsaw or making a meal together. Make it as fun as possible instead of a demand. Likewise, have some plans for ‘time out’ periods both for the kids and yourself.
Don’t forget to check out the second part of this blog for more practical tips to help make this time as enjoyable as possible.