Staying at home with the children- survival guide
In light of the rapidly evolving situation relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more families are staying at home. It already feels scary, uncertain and strange, and can become even more challenging with young children. There is loads of information and ideas on the internet on how to make it easier in terms of planning time, activities, education and life in general. While different things work for different families, we have put together a few tips that can hopefully be useful to everyone.
1. Happy parents=happy children. We know, it is easier said than done, especially at times like these. Try to find some time for yourself during the day to relax and unwind, to have a (hot) cup of coffee, to meditate (10 minutes is all it takes) or to read. As time is short, do it mindfully, to really enjoy it. Try to limit the news and social media to a reasonable amount, as too much of that can do more harm than good. Our favourite meditation tactics for adults and children can be found on the Headspace app and in "The Monk's Guide to Happiness" bestseller by Gelong Thubten.
2. Keeping the children busy. Small children like to have a routine, so it would be probably beneficial to put some sort of a schedule at home for them to follow. However, it is not the end of the world if one day everyone just watches cartoons in their PJs. It can actually be a nice surprise for the children that they will remember for a long time. Also, don't worry if you think they are not learning- they are learning through play and by observing you. There are plenty of activities that you can do at home together-choose what works for you- here is one example.
3. Stay connected. Speak to your school and see how they can assist you to provide continuity for the children. Facetime family and friends, and your children's friends, so they can say hi. Join local parents Facebook groups and chats. The community at and around Phileas Fox is lovely and supportive and shares lots of useful tips and information. If you live in the area, join Maida Vale Parents 2 Parents, Notting Hill Mums, NW8 Mums, Hampstead Mums or Marylebone Mums on Facebook.
4. Stay active. Physical health is crucial, especially now. Involve your children and have a pillow fight, or a little dance in the morning to really loud music- it really sets the mood for the whole day. For a more grown-up version, there is plenty of exercise that can be done at home, that does not require a lot of space or equipment. We really like Boho Beautiful for a wide range of short, varied exercises that you can fit into a busy day, and beautiful scenery. Don't forget to plan healthy meals- together with the children, and drink lots of fluids!
5. Cherish the time. By staying at home, even if you are (attempting) to work, we are saving time on the commute, getting ready and so on. This time adds up, so when possible, use it to suit you. Read, sleep, learn something new, discover, or just play with your child- whatever it is, try to really be present in that moment, make the most of it and enjoy it.