Staying at home in your pajamas once seemed like a luxury – now, not so much. Families are trying to figure out how to share time and space, while maintaining everyone’s sanity.
Creating and sticking to a schedule can help. Dr. Amy Root, a parenting expert and associate professor of Child Development and Family Studies at West Virginia University, explains that everyone in your home (from the youngest to the oldest) should be on a schedule.
For young children, it’s all about routines, which create the predictability young children need – especially during uncertain times with many changes. As you create a schedule for your own family, remember that the amount of structure should increase with age.
Dr. Root points out that young children “learn through play and should not be expected to do worksheets.” Elementary-aged children should have a combination of breaks and academics, with the ability to choose their own activities and opportunities for hands-on learning. “Some elementary-aged children will thrive on a schedule that mirrors their typical school day, while others will want some autonomy to create their at-home schedule.” Teens should incorporate breaks into their academic rigor while adults should “build schedules for both work and home maintenance and try to stick to those schedules.”
Work and play are not the only things to include in your family’s schedule. Consider these additional suggestions:
- Build in some alone time – which varies based on each person’s age and ability. Dr. Root points out, “Alone time doesn’t have to be in separate rooms, but you can create a quiet time where everyone chooses an activity they do separately without conversing.”
- Head outside – a change of scenery is good for everyone and helps maintain well-being.
- Change it up on the weekends – with many people staying at home, one day can blend into the next. Create a different, more varied schedule on weekends, as novelty on the weekends can help things feel more normal during the week.
For more ways to help your family stay on track during the pandemic, read the full article.
Stay safe (and at home) and take care.