A global pandemic has created a real change in the way that we live our lives. This can be an especially big change for parents, in particular. Schools are closed – in many cases for the remainder of the school year – and parents are left figuring out what to do with kids that would have been otherwise preoccupied.
So, what is a parent to do? How can they keep calm when there is a bit more chaos around the house than there used to be? Here are 8 tips that can make things a little bit smoother.
Keep Them Busy
It drives parents nuts: when the kids don’t have school, they just want to hang out and play video games or do nothing in general. Instead of letting them stay up all night and sleep half the day away, try keeping them busy.
This can be in the form of some daily chores or perhaps a daily lesson in place of school. The idea is to implement a little bit of structure in their life that school would have normally provided. It might not make your kids model citizens, but it will help to keep them from being completely disconnected and lazy.
Assign Them Tasks
This is somewhere in the vein of having them do choose, but there are things that need to be done around the house and they need a little bit of structure in their lives. If you have things that need to be done like cleaning a hot tub, assign it to them.
You can cross things off your list and keep them busy at the same time. They may not appreciate it, but keeping them focused on something can help you to keep your sanity when they never leave the house.
Do Things Together
Perhaps you have a project coming up like plans to build a concrete hot tub. Make use of the extra hands that they can provide while spending some quality time together.
Taking on projects together allows for a few things. You can spend time teaching them, creating memories that will last a lifetime. You can also keep them in a structured environment where they retain productivity. And lastly, you get things done. That is a win-win-win.
Take Time for You
Even with the best-behaved kids, every parent needs time to themselves. This is how we maintain our sanity and keep from yelling at the kids with every little inconvenience. Try partaking in some hobbies that you may have been neglecting.
Another thing that you can do is take a nice hot soak. There are health benefits of taking a bath that can’t be ignored. The important thing is to give yourself some time so that you don’t feel overwhelmed and stressed, taking it out on your family instead.
Make a Daily Schedule
This pandemic has created enough chaos in our lives; don’t let a lack of planning turn your entire day into one chaotic moment. Besides, there is one trend that you will notice throughout this piece and that is providing structure for your kids.
That structure also makes your day a little more predictable, providing you with a bit more control as well. You don’t need to meticulously plot things, but even chatting about upcoming activities can be beneficial.
Adding a little structure and planning can make things feel less random and unpredictable and can actually increase pro-social behavior in your children. Make it better by adding some incentives to the process.
Be Clear in Your Demands
One of the most common mistakes that parents make is giving their children options and choices when they want something very concise done. You want a task done, so tell them how you want it done. This leaves less room for error and erases the confusion.
Not only that, but you can also help to mitigate those lapses in communication that lead to mistakes as well as arguing between parent and kid. By being clear in your demands, your kids know what is expected and what needs to happen before they can be allowed to play games or do something that they want.
Pick Your Battles
As much as we wish it were the case, being in control of our children is a bit of a myth. They operate within the constructs that we set forth, but they will only do so in so many ways.
And when they don’t listen, it can feel very frustrating. Instead of being willing to die on every hill, pick your battles. Maybe let those minor annoyances go or cut them slack every once in a while. This will help them see you in a more positive way and will allow for better communication.
Show Them Love
You’re stuck in the same space together. Being mad or irritated with one another is the fastest path towards hard feelings and resentment. When they do something right, heap praise on them. Let them know that you’re happy with them whenever you can.
By doing this, you present a positive environment that your children will welcome. Knowing that you will acknowledge their work may make them more likely to want to get their chores done, take on a lesson, or anything else that you may have planned that day.
Ultimately, we create the relationships that we have with our kids. Making it a positive, enjoyable one is something that we all strive for. Don’t let a little extra together time put dampen the relationship that you have cultivated.
Author Bio: Peter Rossi is a professional hot tub designer and founder of ByRossi.