Posted by Megan Mellington - August 3rd 2020
Stage 3 and 4 COVID19 restrictions pose new challenges for us parents and our families. Many of us are without some of the supports that usually aid us on our parenting journey. The mental load has gone up. We are without our usual routines, our usual support structures like childcare or school, and our ways of accessing our ‘tribe’. Then there are new roles too. Taking on remote learning on top of full time entertainer and nurturer. This increased mental load can bring fatigue and it might be hard to plan a way through.
That’s why I have put some ideas together in one place to get you thinking about some ways you can bring fun, novelty and recharge to your family’s "iso" experience over the next few months. As always, go easy on yourself and your family when things don’t go to plan. Let’s just get through this the best we can.
Get out once a day. Kids thrive on routine. Perhaps a morning walk each day or getting out in the afternoon to combat tiredness and boredom.
Change the room around. New little spaces to explore can help keep kids interested in play.
Rotate the toys on offer. This creates novelty. Toys that may have not been played with in a while may now be seen as interesting again!
Give them a job. Kids like purpose and responsibility. So give them special tasks - “I need you to help me sort out the craft box”, “can you help me put the washing away in the right place?”
Separation and reunification. Right now we have few opportunities to miss our children. Where you can, carve out time for yourself. If you have a partner, take turns once a day to do something for yourself by yourself. That brief recharge can give you what you need when you are back on duty with the kids.
Find fun in the simple things. Notice the colours of the leaves on your walk, count picket fences on your street, set up a picnic lunch in your yard, make breakfast food for dinner!
Use everyday activities to engage your child. Ask them to sort the washing by colour, give them a shovel for gardening while you weed, cook together, ask them to help dish up dinner.
If you need support, connect with your people, call Parentline on 1300 30 1300, or contact us about talking to a psychologist.