Motivent is back with some real talk about a pandemic summer. This isn’t something you’ve ever gone through before; not as a kid, a teen, nor a parent. This wasn’t in the parenting handbook. You finally got the balance of e-learning and your work from home (WFH) routine and now it’s summertime. What’s more, there are no summer camps and no extracurriculars to keep your children busy. We at Motivent don’t expect you to have to figure it out alone. This post will be your how-to guide to handle continued WFH while wrangling kids with no obligations. Just as we said before, you need structure and routine, so your home has balance rather than chaos.
If you missed our last blog post, read it here; creating structure for your pandemic summer will be similar to how you balanced WFH and e-learning. The bottom line is that structure fosters independence and time-management skills in your kids while setting clear boundaries for how the days will be shaped. Without structure and routine, there is chaos and you’ll be pulling your hair out before noon.
Here’s how this will work. Your modern-day children likely have screens they could stay glued to if you don’t intervene (i.e. cell phones, gaming systems, streaming services, etc.). You’ll want to help your children learn balance in their screen-time while ensuring that they are active physically and mentally. Additionally, it’s necessary to build in activity for your kids (it’ll burn off some energy for them, too!). There is much more freedom for you and your family during a pandemic summer than you had when your children were bound to e-learning. You may choose to include daily activities to foster your children’s growth in many areas: mindfulness, creativity, language learning, family bonding time, community service etc.
The bottom line is that structure makes it clear to the household that you need space for your work to get done and your children have responsibilities to attend to as well. What’s more, by giving your children this structure, you can help them learn to be in charge of themselves. For example, we’ve included a Pandemic Summer Rules checklist (blank editable PDF downloadable here) which your children will need to complete before they are allowed to use screens recreationally. You may also be interested in using Technology Tokens (blank tickets downloadable here) teaching your children how to manage their time and budget their ‘tech time’ based on their wants.
Now, I can’t emphasize enough that the goal here is not to add another task to your to-do list. Motivent offers online Parent Consultations during which a Motivent consultant can work with you to create a personalized structure to fit your family’s needs. Lastly, the freedoms and activities allowed for your children can expand as the state begins to move through phases of reopening. Here is a useful tool to keep handy which states explicitly what we are free to do and what has yet reopened. Here is another article which discusses in live terms how the cases and percentages of our state’s four regions change.
Stay tuned to the Motivent blog as pandemic summer wears on. We will continue to provide you with resources to keep your children busy and happy and keep you sane.