Decrease the Stress while Sheltering in Place

Decrease the Stress while Sheltering in Place

As you read all the posts about family bonding while sheltering in place are you wondering how they do it?

Keeping your fingers crossed that everyone will get along?

Finding it exhausting instead of relaxing?

Here are some tips:

Plan together

Involve the whole family in planning the days ahead. While polling for ideas and activities doesn’t mean that you will spend all day playing video games and eating junk food, it does mean that you can include activities that appeal to everyone. It also means that you will plan time together and apart that is more age appropriate while avoiding unrealistic expectations for behavior and interest levels. Moms and dads are still in charge of the final decisions and it is a lost cause to try to please everyone at all times. Take into consideration your child’s personality style, interests and energy level as you plan.

Continue a routine

I know that its easy to fall into the habit of late nights and sleeping in. However, especially with young children, consider keeping a similar schedule and routine to what you normally have. Children thrive on predictable routines so be spontaneous with some activities but keep a consistent bedtime, meal time and mid-day rest to prevent meltdowns due to exhausted kids and parents alike. Schedule regular time for school, homework and your own need to work from home.  Be sure to schedule some down time just to relax and play. And speaking of relaxing, don’t forget to plan for…

Free Time

In our frenetic-over-achieving-fear-of-missing-out-on -something lifestyle, there is a tendency to plan every moment and feel that we must keep children constantly entertained and busy. In fact, research has shown that free play is not only highly therapeutic but a great way for children to learn social skills and develop creativity. Instead, schedule regular time when kids determine their own activity which doesn’t involve screen time or structure from adults. It may be difficult at first, but the challenge will teach them to take initiative and be resourceful not only for now but in the future.

Identify behavior expectations

Be clear about positive behavioral expectations and share them just as you share your schedule with your children.  Plan ahead and set boundaries for what children will be allowed to do and not to do.  This way you aren’t constantly saying no throughout the day and having to make snap decisions on what is possible.  Planning ahead for behavior creates a positive expectation on everyone’s part.

Most important of all, enjoy the time together, be present in the moment and don’t sweat the small stuff. Learn, work, play and have fun with your crew as you create new memories together

Wyatt and Cooperation

Wyatt the Wonder Dog Learns about Cooperation

Wyatt wants to play Frisbee. Max wants to build a fort and Callie wants to have a tea party. How do the three friends reconcile their differences? Can it be done?  When Wyatt doesn’t get his way, Max’s mother suggests he be the Superhero for the day. Join Wyatt as he learns how the magic of cooperation and compromise can bring the five friends closer together.

Feeling left out? Need help getting along with friends? Wyatt the Wonder Dog books weave important life skills into engaging story telling. Join Wyatt as he learns how to be the superhero in his group of friends by using cooperation and compromise.

~MaryFrances Gonzalez MACCC-SLP

Grab a copy

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