Quaran-Themes: Have Some Family Fun during Quarantine with Themed Days of the Week – Wednesday

Wednesday Friends-Day

Today, everyone in the family should connect with a friend – that include parents! This is a difficult time and, while you’re caring for your family, it’s important for you to receive care and support from others.

Set up virtual playdates for kids. Let them pick the people they want to connect with and maybe a game they’d like to play. Games like “Battleship” and “Guess Who” can be played virtually if both parties have the game. While kids are having playdates, chat with their friends’ parents or call your friends.

Coming up Thoughtful Thursday

What is your family doing to keep spirits up during the Coronavirus pandemic? Let us know on Facebook!

Quaran-Themes: Have Some Family Fun during Quarantine with Themed Days of the Week – Tuesday

Tech-Free Tuesday

Show your family that they can have fun without screens. After school and work, shut off phones, TVs, and computers. Get outside if the weather is nice. Do a craft or a science experiment. Play a board game. Build with Legos. Bake cookies. Or do something else your family likes to do together. There are plenty of ways to play without screens. Let your kids come up with some ideas and decide on an activity together.

In our online class, “Rethink Screen Time: The New Normal” we give parents tips on managing screen usage while kids are learning from home.

Coming up Wednesday Friends-Day

What is your family doing to keep spirits up during the Coronavirus pandemic? Let us know on Facebook!

Quaran-Themes: Have Some Family Fun during Quarantine with Themed Days of the Week – Monday

Move It Monday

Get your family moving today! In the morning, you might consider taking 2-5 minutes to do some yoga and stretching together. Moments of mindfulness will help you refuel and can set the tone for a calm start of your day. We recommend this guided yoga activity for kids, which is available on Spotify: Kira Willey – Dance for the Sun.

Between tasks and schoolwork, you could have a dance party or move in some other way. Check out GoNoodle.com for short, interactive videos and activities to get kids moving. And at the end of the day, get the whole family moving together. Do a family workout, go for a walk, or play something physical.

Kids may want to do some of these “Move It Monday” activities every day and that’s great! Regular movement on a school/workday can reduce stress and increase productivity for both kids and grownups.

Coming up Tech-Free Tuesday

What is your family doing to keep spirits up during the Coronavirus pandemic? Let us know on Facebook!

Quaran-Themes: Have Some Family Fun during Quarantine with Themed Days of the Week – Sunday

Sunday Funday

No work. None. Get take out, let the house get a little messy, it’s ok. Start the day with a quick meditation exercise that will relax your body and mind and reduce anxiety. Alternate Nostril Breathing:

  • Place your left hand on your left knee.
  • Lift your right hand up toward your nose.
  • Exhale completely and then use your right thumb to close your right nostril.
  • Inhale through your left nostril and then close the left nostril with your fingers.
  • Open the right nostril and exhale through this side.
  • Inhale through the right nostril and then close this nostril.
  • Open the left nostril and exhale through the left side.
  • This is one cycle.
  • Continue for up to 5 minutes.
  • Always complete the practice by finishing with an exhale on the left side.

Continue your day with no agenda except to have fun and fun only.

Coming up Move It Monday

What is your family doing to keep spirits up during the Coronavirus pandemic? Let us know on Facebook!

Quaran-Themes: Have Some Family Fun during Quarantine with Themed Days of the Week – Saturday

Sleep-in Saturday

The family has worked hard all week and deserves a well-needed break. Excuse yourselves from the get-up-and-go and instead linger as much of Saturday morning as you want – in bed. Invite the kids for a nice snuggle, play peak-a-boo, create a tent, or even start a pillow fight if you dare. Prepare an easy breakfast the night before – hard boiled eggs, blueberry muffins, coffee cake and serve breakfast in bed while you catch a morning movie. Certainly a morning to remember!

Coming up Sunday Funday…

What is your family doing to keep spirits up during the Coronavirus pandemic? Let us know on Facebook!

Quaran-Themes: Have Some Family Fun during Quarantine with Themed Days of the Week – Friday

Fireside Friday

If you have fire pit or a fireplace, this theme is a little easier. If not, you can pull up a video of a fire on your tv and make s’mores in the microwave. Consider having a campout in the living room. Or better yet, in your backyard! (Weather permitting, of course.) Don’t have a tent? Make one in the house out of blankets. Use a projector on a wall or a white sheet and add a movie to your evening. Get creative and have fun!

Coming up Sleep-in Saturday…

What is your family doing to keep spirits up during the Coronavirus pandemic? Let us know on Facebook!

Navigate Schooling and Parenting while Working from Home

While there is fear and uncertainty in the world around us, we are all doing our best to keep our homes and families safe and healthy – physically and emotionally. As we learn how to parent and school while working from home, tensions are often high and simple tasks can seem overwhelming. Below are some tips to help you navigate the new normal:

  1. Create a New Normal through Consistent RoutinesChildren thrive on consistency. They will be more cooperative if they know what to expect and when to expect it each day. While we’re uncertain of how long we’ll be living in isolation, it’s a good idea to create a new schedule for your family and stick to it as best you can. Get up at the same time each day. Set a time for schoolwork, play, meals and exercise. And be sure to schedule in family time.
  2. Promote IndependenceIt’s tough to get work done with kids demanding your attention. Consider giving them tasks to do independently – like a scavenger hunt, art project, or even folding laundry – so they have something to focus on while you are working. Remember to praise your children for their efforts. You will get more of whatever behavior you pay attention to. Try to notice and praise positive behavior as often as you can!
  3. Work Together with Your Partner & Other Loved OnesIf you have a co-parent or someone to help take care of the children, you are probably already taking shifts of caring for kids while the other works. Be sure to agree together on the length of the kid-care shifts. Some parents are good with a long stretch with their child, but other parents will do better with two shorter shifts at different times of day. Be respectful of one another’s needs.
  4. Be Honest with Your ChildrenYour children may ask questions about COVID-19, social isolation, and what is going to happen in the coming weeks and months. We encourage you to be honest with your children, while sharing age-appropriate information with them. For more support in this area, visit our Facebook Group or attend our online class, Help Your Child Feel Safe in a Complicated World.
  5. PlayTry to set aside time each day to play. Go for a walk, toss a ball around, have a dance party, or play a boardgame. The benefits of play are manifold. First, if you spend time giving the kids your full attention, they will be less likely to demand attention from you later (when you are trying to get some work done). Fill their “attention banks” early and you will hopefully see a rise in your productivity throughout the day. Second, people of all ages need play! Play decreases stress, boosts creativity, and improves brain function. Especially during this time of uncertainty, your kids AND YOU will benefit from laughter and silliness. Lastly, and most importantly, play builds connection. We have a unique opportunity right now to connect with our kids and have fun as a family – something that sometimes gets pushed aside in the midst of our regular busy lives. Do something your kids enjoy doing, listen to them, learn about them and from them, and delight in them.

In the coming days and weeks, we’ll dive deeper into each of these tips. For now, be patient with yourself and your children. Stressful moments will occur. Anticipate them by defusing known hot spots (e.g., getting going in the morning and transitioning into school time). Create routines that balance your self-care, work time, and activities for connection.

Lastly, remember that you are not alone. Millions of other parents are in the same boatl and we believe we can help one another navigate these uncertain times. That’s why we’re opening our private Facebook Group to all parents. Join today to gain support from our parenting experts and other parents like you.

Quaran-Themes: Have Some Family Fun during Quarantine with Themed Days of the Week

Thoughtful Thursday

Do something thoughtful today! These are our ideas, but we encourage you to think of others:

  • Write thank you notes to teachers, grocery store employees, or healthcare workers.
  • Write words of encouragement and stick them in your neighbors’ mailboxes.
  • Call someone who is alone just to say hello.
  • Say appreciations about each family member at dinner.
  • Let kids brainstorm other ideas!

Coming up Fireside Friday…

Mark your calendar for tomorrow’s post or Follow Us at https://www.facebook.com/PeaceAtHomeParenting/

COVID 19 Navigate the New Normal as a Family

Our current health crisis creates daily challenges that many of us have never experienced. Our children can’t easily spend time with their friends. We can’t just stop in at the local pizza place to chill out on a Friday evening. Our daily schedules are both gone and more complicated at the same time. We are facing the challenge of inventing new ways of doing things many times each day. How is your family handling the challenge of creating new ways of coping and thriving? How are you doing at authentically tuning into your own needs and modeling wellness for your kids?
Participants in this class will be able to:

  • Recognize the importance of slowing down and changing expectations
  • Identify family meeting strategies that suit your family and increase collaboration and cooperation
  • Apply approaches that help siblings tolerate each other with kindness
  • Apply communication and parenting approaches that focus on optimism, resilience and connection to effectively navigate the new normal as a family.

Presenter: Ruth E. Freeman, LCSW

Why doesn’t your child sleep well?

Why doesn’t your child sleep well?

The two mistakes you may be making during your child’s bedtime routine.

By Dr. Lynelle Schneeberg, PSYD

The bad news: you may be making two common mistakes during your preschool- or elementary-aged child’s bedtime routine that are keeping your child from sleeping well.

The good news: both mistakes are easy to fix!

Mistake number one: Staying with your child until he or she is completely asleep. 

Parents often ask me, “Why does my child fall asleep quickly at bedtime but have difficulty staying asleep?” This issue is incredibly common and is most often due to the fact that you may be staying with your child at bedtime until he or she is completely asleep. Perhaps you don’t leave your child’s bedroom until those little eyelids finally close even though you’d love to knock off one or things on your to-do list or, better yet, watch some episodes of (fill in your favorite bingeable show here).

However, if you stay in your child’s room each night until your child is truly and deeply asleep, your little one will soon wake up again during the night (as all children do, usually after a sleep cycle or two). He or she will almost always call you back to his or her bedroom (or show up like a silent little ninja in yours) because he or she only knows how to fall asleep when you are present.

Mistake number two: Granting too many extra requests after the bedtime routine is (supposed to be!) over.

If your child is like most other kids, he or she will make lots of additional requests or trips out of the bedroom after the bedtime routine is over. Your child might ask for “just one more…” story or hug. She might want lots more escorted trips to the bathroom, or he might ask for another check under the bed or even ask to get up to have another snack. My daughters love theater, so I’ve nicknamed these extra requests callbacks (if your child calls you back to the bedroom) or curtain calls (if your child leaves the bedroom to find you).

You may think that if you grant all of these callbacks and curtain calls, your child will finally fall asleep. But in reality, granting all of these extra requests after lights out actually gives your child lots more of your attention which rewards your child for staying awake (not a great plan!)

How can you fix these two mistakes? 

Make sure you and your child have a cozy, comforting and consistent bedtime routine with a very clear endpoint (maybe a final kiss on the forehead). Then leave while your child is still fully awake. Remind him or her to play or read quietly in bed independently until drowsy enough to fall asleep. If your child starts making callbacks and curtain calls, try using bedtime tickets to manage these. Give your child one or two bedtime tickets when the bedtime routine is over and quickly grant a callback or curtain call or two. After the bedtime tickets are gone, remind your child that there are no more tickets but that he or she can play or read quietly in bed until drowsy enough to make the (solo) trip to dreamland.

This plan should allow you to cross off one or two of those things on your to-do list (but I think you’ve probably earned the right to collapse on the sofa and catch up on those seven episodes…)!

Good luck and good sleep!