With many schools shut for the foreseeable future, children are now spending more time than ever at home. This can be challenging for parents who are unequipped for such an unusual task. Luckily, we have some tips and suggestions for keeping you and you child going.

Start A New Project

Starting a new project with your child during quarantine is a great way to pass the time. Not only will they have something new to look forward to every day, they will be distracted, which means you can carry on working from home. Activities can also encourage them to bond with you and spend valuable time together. One suggestion as we transition into spring could be gardening. “Planting new seeds and watching them grow is a perfect way to pass the time and create something tangible,” writes Nora Mason, an educator at Writinity and Researchpapersuk. “Setting goal and targets for your child to stick to will maintain normalcy for them. Achieving something new and giving them praise for that will encourage them to want to learn and do more.”

See also CLiF’s ideas for fun literacy activities.

Stick To A Schedule

It’s easy to ignore alarm clocks and other time constraints when we have nowhere to go or be. While it can be tempting to lounge around in our pj’s all day, sticking to a schedule is imperative for your child. You want to make sure there is still normalcy in both your life and theirs. You want them to still feel safe and like nothing bad is happening outside. Changing up their routine vastly will only have negative effects. Keeping to a set feeding time and sleep time will keep both you and your child sane.

Teach Them Something New

From baking to nature walks, drawing and painting, there’s countless ideas for you to teach your child. What’s great is that your child is still learning and developing and so introducing a new hobby and skill will benefit them greatly. Because they’re no longer in school, you want to make sure that their brains are being active and stimulated. The worst thing is to have a bored child with nothing to do. Allow your child to ask questions and start creative projects. It’s amazing what they’ll be able to come up with!

Here are some great resources for learning at home.

Be Honest

This won’t last forever, though it may seem that way for now. As we continue to be patient and fill our days with new activities, we will move forward. Be forthcoming with your child, but don’t scare them with all the details. Children are smart and will notice this huge change in their lives and the world. Tell them how much or how little you want, but make sure to do so in a positive manner. All children look up to their parents for reassurance and so telling them that it will all be OK and you’ll make it through will be encouraging for them and keep them positive.

Remain Calm

Quarantine won’t last forever, and there is no point worrying about things out of your control. You need to remain calm and be strong for the sake of your children. You need to keep giving your child stability, and make sure that you are there for them at all times. Their lives and everything they understand has been completely disrupted and, while they will find this uncertain and confusing, being there as a parent is the most important thing you can do. Having ideas and plans for them, something to look forward to, is so important.

Limit Screen Time

It can be extremely tempting to sit your child in front of the TV and call it a day, especially now with Disney+. Creating limits is still important, even during lockdown. “Without teaching self-control kids can lose themselves in any digital medium. Of course, it’s important to give children the freedom to do what they want but harnessing this time to create a stronger bond and maybe even learn a new skill will create a want to do more,” writes Samantha Ali, a teacher at Draftbeyond and Lastminutewriting.

Talk To Them

Communication is key, especially for expressing your emotions. Because it’s such an uncertain time, it’s likely that you’re feeling anxious and worried, and that worry can sometimes transfer to your child. To avoid this and perhaps avoid them seeing you like this, start a conversation about how your child is feeling. Being open about your emotions is no easy task, but when your child sees you inviting this and you are willing to listen, they will feel a lot better. 

In these uncertain times it’s easy to become distracted and lost and, while this can be easy to fall into, remember that it’s OK to feel like this. Being there for your child and creating new distractions will help the time go by and you will form a closer bond with them.

Cheri S. Jones is an aspiring entrepreneur and business writer. You can find her featured at Research paper writing services and Gum Essays. When she’s not seeking a new business venture, Cheri strategizes new business projects and has found incredible success.

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