The best thing about Safer-At-Home is we are getting the relaxation time we all crave and need to be mentally healthy!
- Homeschooling should not be more than a couple of hours per day. It may be more for a high school AP student but, otherwise, it should be a small portion of the day. You do not need to do the state mandated homeschool time of 4 hours per day (unless you are a year-round homeschooler!). I think some homework is great because we ALL need to be productive each day and feel like we accomplished something. Do not fight over homeschool work and assignments. I assure you that they will be fine and teachers will catch everyone up when they return. They expect this; just as they do every August.
- CONNECT! Take this opportunity to play games, cards, watch movies, play outside, ride bikes, cook together, and take walks. This shouldn’t be demanded with teenagers but encouraged. If you are having trouble getting “buy in”, ask them what THEY would like to do together as a family.
I know my clients are doing better than they typically are doing mentally during this time. The reason is they are finally getting the connection they long for but do not often have when we are so overworked and overscheduled.
- Your child is missing their friends, teachers, grandparents, and neighborhood friends. This may not hit for another week or so. Find creative ways for them to connect with others such as FaceTime or Zoom parties. I have Face Timed with my niece a couple of times and it has brought joy to both of us! They can also go “old school” and write some cards or letters. Grandparents will especially enjoy while they are also lonely and isolated!
- Get out and get ACTIVE and EXERCISE. Our TN State Parks are not closed. Find one and hike the trails! Walk or bike around your neighborhood or jump on the trampoline, anywhere that you can stay 6 ft away from others. Exercise is so beneficial for the neurochemicals in our brain that help our mood and outlook.