These are difficult times filled with uncertainty and change. Because of the spread of COVID-19, lifestyles are completely changing. You may be taking things one day at a time, and that’s okay! Children and grown-ups thrive on routines, even if they’re just “for now.” Use the resources in this bundle to help you create a schedule that works for everyone in the family.
– Work-Life Balance –
Finding a balance between work and the new “for-now normal” is hard! Consider these ideas for setting you and your family up for success:
- Have honest conversations. Talk with your employer, manager, and colleagues about your situation. Outline projects and deadlines. Be realistic. What can be accomplished? What might need to be pushed? Consider who might be affected by changes and communicate with them early and often.
- Have a family meeting. Let everyone in the family know they are important. Together, make a list of things that need to happen every day. For instance, everyone needs to stay clean, eat healthfully, and get some exercise. When you’re making a new schedule, block off time for these things first.
- Create space for everyone. Having dedicated space can help everyone feel a bit more in-control. For grown-ups, this means having a place to work at the dining room table or a corner of the living room. For children, it might mean a cozy reading nook or a coffee table for block creations and art projects.
- Set clear boundaries. When there’s no physical separation from work and home, the lines can get blurry. Even if your work hours have changed, make them clear to everyone and stick to them. As best you can, enjoy things like meals and playtime together free from work. Then after kids go to bed, for example, pick it back up.
- Be flexible and kind. As with any change, there will be growing pains. This is a great time to practice patience and flexibility. If something isn’t working, talk together. Ask, “What can we try to make things go more smoothly tomorrow?”
- Take it easy. Yes, work needs to get done, but it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Be sure to give yourself quiet time to recharge and reset.
– Family Schedule –
Every family’s “for-now” normal is going to look different. Use this printable to map out daily routines that work for your family.
– Monster-Fairy Family Challenge + Mealtime Conversation Cards –
Launch The Monster-Fairy Family Challenge
Laughing and joking around brings families together…and helps them express their affection, too. Gather together and play this game-show style game—anytime, anywhere! Join in simple, silly 30-second challenges to learn, share, and bond together. Families can work collaboratively to draw, sing, solve riddles, dance, giggle, and best of all, enjoy each other.
Keep the fun going throughout the day with these Conversation Cards. Print the cards and use them to help you spark conversations during everyday routines. After kids answer the question on the card (their answer may be just one word—that’s okay!), keep going! (for instance, “Oh, you were a superhero named Bobo? What were your superpowers? How did you use them?”)
You can keep these cards all in one place, or post in various places (for instance, the “bathtime” card can go near the bathtub).
– New Family Tradition –
In times of change, it can help to create new special family routines and traditions. Special moments can help everyone feel more connected and comforted. In uncertain times, any bit of normalcy helps. Use this page with children to talk about and plan a new family routine or ritual. You might ask:
- What special meal or recipe could we make together on a weekend (or any particular night)?
- What game could we all play together?
- How could we make our new tradition extra special? (For instance, if it’s spaghetti night, children could make special placemats, or everyone at the table could share the best part of their day.)
Share the idea with other family members and decide together on your new tradition. Then, encourage children to draw it out and put it in their own words (write down what they say on the lines). Post the page for everyone in the family to see!