Although there is no magic answer to balancing everything, putting a structure in place is very important.
You need to give your children a routine and reasonable expectations that will offer them a sense of control and comfort.This isn’t one big holiday, so children need to have a routine and stick to healthy eating & sleeping patterns.
Stick to A Routine
Make sure your child gets up at the same time every day, has breakfast and gets showered and dressed as they would on a normal school day. For most children 30-minute study schedules work best. Ensure you have a timetable set out that you discuss with your child at the beginning of the week.
Add in breaks and free time so your child has something to look forward to. Try and work a timetable with both your work schedule and your child’s study where you can all take time out for lunch together. Make this family time fun and don’t discuss work or school.
Make sure your children get some exercise and some fresh air if you are lucky enough to have a garden. If you don’t have outdoor space, there are lots of free exercise classes on TV or online.
Anxiety & Worries About COVID-19
It’s also important for your kids to have adult interaction. Spend time with them and discuss any worries they may have. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused huge disruption to both their school and social life so try to reassure them that things will get better in time.
Provide them with age-appropriate information. You should monitor what they are exposed to in terms of TV and the computer when it comes to news. Point them toward more reliable information and be honest about what you know and don’t know.
If your child is acting irritable or is having temper tantrums try not to react by getting angry as they may be upset with what’s going on around them. Try and sit down and talk to them reassuringly. Let them know there is light at the end of the tunnel and in the not too distant future they will be able to get back to some sort of normality.
Try and do things as a family and make this a time that they can look back on with fond memories in spite of the circumstances.
Let your child spend a little more time on their computer than you would normally allow whilst also monitoring parental controls.
Perhaps ensure they have Facetime or join House Party apps so they can communicate with their friends. I have an older child of 14 years old and he looks forward to the end of the afternoon when he finishes his schoolwork and gets on to social media with his classmates. He rarely complains about being bored as they all chat on video calls most evenings.
There are also lots of online classes for kids with story reading, games and exercises younger children can engage in.