Raising a family and caring for children can be stressful. Nope, who am I kidding, it is stressful! Then add the current situation with COVID-19 will surely raise your anxiety and stress levels, you're only human.
While it seems that we are just getting on with our new 'norm' with homeschooling, routines and the safety precautions at home, we now add social distancing as a must.
With most of the group gatherings in sports, lessons, park districts and even public
pools are taking detours, it's important to be following the rules and guidelines. Introduce your children to Healthy Hippo! Kids relate to the Characters of Character and are more apt to listen to what they have to say, than what mom or dad keep on preaching. I'll help you out, listen to a story, make a paper bag puppet and even discuss healthy habits, like brushing your teeth, eating healthy and choosing a delicious apple! Visit Character Corner to do all of the above mentioned!
Children learn from our own behaviors, what we say, what we do and our actions, so it's important to be a constant positive role model. As an adult, while frustrating at times, it's important to wear a mask, to constantly wash our hands and to keep our distance. This takes care of our-self and is taking care of your family. However, it's vital for you to slow down, manage your anxiety and find that fine line of balance as we parent, because as the old cliche' goes, "ain't nobody happy if mama ain't happy" and that goes for daddy, too.
Healthy Hippo has some suggestions for you, the adult:
First, celebrate the wins! While the children are going through major changes, too no matter how big or how small the daily challenges are, at the end of the day, you made it! Stop to take it all in and feel proud of your accomplishments and reward your children's, too. And, remember, it's OK to not feel OK, this is a lot to take in for so many of us.
Next, be sure to ask for help if you need to. One of the hardest things to do for so many of us is to ask for help at any given time. Remember to check in with friends, to continue your support groups and if you're able to, use an online platform for visual appearances, it helps make you feel like you're out there in the world, social distancing and all! Remember that you are not alone, we are all in this together and there are so many online platform's which you can utilize.
Then, try to slow down. Become aware of the moments. Take this opportunity to snuggle with your children, watch that move you keep putting off, play that game you couldn't find time for, get in the kitchen and bake and keep talking with your children, your spouse, your friends, keep the lines of communications flowing. If you're like me, your kids might say you have coffee breath, snuggle anyways, you don't want to watch the movie your child has seen ten times already, watch it anyways. The game they choose may be boring to you, but, it means everything to your child. You might not be the best baker, bake anyways. Ask your kids what their favorite cookie is, or google some fun things to bake with kids or look on Pinterest, who doesn't love Pinterest!? Take this opportunity to make memories, I feel there is a lesson in this Pandemic, stop to look for the good in it, don't keep complaining.
If you do find yourself overwhelmed, and you will, you're no different then the next guy! Stop and take a deep breath, let your worries fall to the way side, become mindful of what is actually happening around you, and if you don't like it, like your attitude, change it. Don't beat yourself up, just regroup if you're having a hard time.
Finally, be sure to take time for yourself. Set aside some alone time, if you can regroup in 10 to 15 minutes, take them. If it takes you a little longer, so be it. Just be sure to do it. Be kind to yourself because well, truth be told, somebody else might not take the time to be kind to you, and treating yourself with kindness will flow through you like a blooming fresh flower! These are tough times, and yes, this too shall pass, so, less stress, more rest and do your best.
Remember, YOU are like a SUPERHERO in the eyes of your children, so, take time to rest, take time for yourself and know that there are support groups and other online platforms for you to participate in during this challenging times. I speak as an adult, while our kids are all grown, we never were exposed to anything quite like this COVID-19, however, in any stressful situation, it's important to take care of yourself, so that you can take care of others.
Make a little Craft Corner for your kids to go to when they feel creative. Encourage them to express their feelings and their thoughts in a healthy fashion, too. I've created Character Corner and we're still adding to it, so be sure to share this with your own children and family to engage in our character building lessons. A child will relate to the characters and embrace the message, model the trait and all you have to do is.........BREATHE. Be well, Stay safe. Ms. Joni
Married with children since 1981. Love working with children and sharing the Characters of Character.