In a time when life can feel out of our control, it’s never been more important for parents to try to maintain stability at home for your children. Not only are we still in the middle of a pandemic, kids who have been out of school for months are now starting a new term and new rules like social distancing and wearing face-coverings can feel very overwhelming. Whether that’s making time to talk, maintaining a simple daily routine or enjoying family activities - these small changes can really make your child feel safe and have a sense of comfort during these uncertain times. Here’s some things you can do to create stability and support your children during the pandemic.
Maintain A Daily Routine
Daily routines are really important when it comes to your child’s mental wellbeing and maintaining a sense of normality for them. Their lives changed significantly in a very short space of time, meaning simple things such as regular meal times, going to bed at the same time, going for an afternoon walk or having a few hours in the evening to relax provide a sense of stability each day. It also means your children can build up confidence and independence within the daily routine and start practicing it on their own too. Routines are also great for family bonding time and will provide your child with a sense of safety and security.
Keep Everybody’s Expectations Reasonable
Changing circumstances can leave everyone feeling overwhelmed, worried and stressed. However, these are unusual times with guidelines and rules changing regularly, so it’s important everyone is flexible. For example, you may be expected to change the way you do things or go about daily activities, especially when it comes to going to school or seeing friends, so it’s crucial your children have realistic expectations of the months ahead. Just remember as a family to all practice being kind, compassionate and understanding towards each other and be mindful of what’s really meaningful in life.
Spend Quality Time Together
Spending quality time together as a family is incredibly important for a child’s sense of stability and normality. It not only lets your children know how important they are to you but reminds them you’re interested and care. Simple activities, like cooking together, playing board games, reading books, watching films or going on a walk outside are excellent ways to create normalcy during uncertain times. Even just being together, chatting and having fun builds up connections that are invaluable to children and are key in making them feel loved and safe.
Talk About Your Child’s Emotions
Even though it’s much easier to brush aside our children’s fears and assure them there’s nothing to worry about, the world is showing them a different story right now. It’s vital that you communicate open and honestly with your child regularly about their concerns, worries and emotions. As a parent, it’s important to acknowledge how they’re feeling and let them know that so many other people are feeling the same way. Open up and share with them how you’re feeling too, so they know they’re not alone. We also recommend allowing your kids to share their fears about the pandemic - you could even try to have an open discussion about the situation as this will help create a reassuring environment. Encourage them to ask questions too, as they may have heard misinformation or be worried about something that isn’t true, so you can fill in any gaps they have and provide them with age appropriate information.
Get Involved In Fun Family Projects And Activities
Finally, there’s no better way to maintain a stable home environment than getting stuck into a fun family project or activity. Whether that’s doing science experiments in the kitchen, building something in the garden together, going on a bike ride, cooking or baking, art projects or having singing and dance contests - there’s nothing more valuable for children during these uncertain times. Not only is it fun for everyone, it’s a great way to stay connected and bond as a family.