Lockdown living: lessons for parents
- Small update: we’re back in semi-lockdown. Schools are still open, thankfully, but we can’t travel outside of our town and parties are a definite no-no.
- Teachers are saints and deserve a much higher salary.
- For those of you still at home:
It’s impossible to help kids with schoolwork while working from home. Don’t even try. Instead, just fill in the gaps, when they’re playing (read: making an unholy mess)
- As soon as you’re talking to one child, guaranteed another one needs you urgently. Suddenly they lost the ability to know how to color in pictures.
- When you do let them outside on their bikes, one of them is bound to fall and need stitches, leaving you with no other choice than to go to the hospital-the last place you want to be at the moment. Those health care workers have enough to be doing. Yes, this did happen to us.
- Kids notice everything, even that sneaky chocolate you tried to nibble behind the cupboard door.
- There is, and I repeat, absolutely no point in tidying up during the day.
- Cooking together results in you doing all the work and losing another two hours afterward to clean up the bomb that went off in your kitchen.
Same for baking, but add flour to the mix. Who knew it could cover so many surfaces?
- Patience is a virtue. Repeat after me.
- Online ‘learning’ ends up in cartoon marathons, while you’re busy ‘working.’
- STEM experiments are nice in theory but messy and cumbersome in practice. Especially if you have three kids who all want to stir, put in the vinegar, bounce the egg or whatever you’re meant to be doing.
- Workout with Joe Wicks is excellent, but it usually ends up with one doing everything and two crying off, because it’s too hard.
And by the looks of this, they’re not the only one finding it hard…
- Any chores they do for you, usually end up in more work for you. Washing your car sounds great until you factor in all the time it takes to get all their cleaning equipment ready and to show them how to do it.
- I don’t know about you, but it’s a slippery slope from not keeping on top of the housework to your house falling into complete disrepair—time to teach the kids to help out.
Upsides of lockdown living for parents
As Johan Cruyff was famous for saying, ‘for every downside, there is an upside.’ Yes, if you’re one of the lucky ones who aren’t personally affected, there is a small glimmer of something positive during this global crisis. When you’re a parent of multiple children, you might feel that between (play)school, activities, playdates, and parties at the weekend, there is not much time for, well, you. Now, however, you have been given the gift of more time on your hands. Use it well.
- Repeat after me: no activities, no parties to bring them to, no general taxi duties.
- No sports or other hobbies means no more sports gear to wash, yay.
- For parents who are bringing up their children bilingually with the minority language at home, these are productive times. Now there no longer speak their primary language at (play) school; they have time to immerse themselves in your language. I for one, have noticed a huge jump in their vocabulary of my mother tongue.
- Without life pulling you in different directions, you finally have time to do some baking, playing board games, dance with your kids, or anything that always took your fancy.
- Which brings me to my following highlight: without parties- where your children practically inhale chicken nuggets- use this time to wean them off convenience food.
- Now is an excellent time to get them started on chores, who knows, they might even like to empty the dishwasher. (Here’s hoping)
- Without school concerts, spring fairs, or other (play) school fundraising to prepare for or attend, you find you have a lot more free time on your hands in the evenings. Yay, you can finally watch The Crown. I hear it’s good;-)
- Being out of your normal routine, you’re probably putting in more effort to exercise, I have never walked a much as now (within my zone of course). We’re lucky our lockdown living comes with nice temperatures and birdsong.
- You have time to teach them about music appreciation. Looking for a starting point? Forget about charts stuff and go for The Beatles, Queen. and Led Zeppelin. Most children love them. Classical music is wonderful too.