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The Two Words You Need Most

Written by Tim Gilleand, Crosswinds Counselor

 

Due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), many parents are finding themselves spending much more time confined indoors with their children than they are used to. How can parents best prepare to approach this whole new world? Let me give you two main words to focus on: structure and consistency. 

In a school setting, focus is created through structure. The home is oftentimes more tempting to promote poor concentration and even apathy. Discuss and brainstorm with your children an appropriate schedule of daily events, one that includes schoolwork, chores, outside time, and free time. If you’re really ambitious, you can use this opportunity to build in appropriate balances of time. People need time with each other, but they also need time alone and for their marriages (kid-free time). See a sample schedule below to use as a template as you figure out what fits your family.

Consistency is a general parenting rule that promotes compliant children. Saying what you mean, and meaning what you say. Grounding a child for a month but letting them off a couple days later trains children that they do not need to listen to you or believe you. Set clear expectations, rewards and consequences. Talk about them together as a family. Have the children give their input on what their own rewards and consequences should be. This empowers them to take ownership of their successes and setbacks. It also takes the pressure off you as a parent to constantly remind your children to do things. 

More than ever before, your children (and your own sanity) will need structure and consistency. You might have already known this needs to happen in your family — this is a great opportunity to get it done!

SAMPLE SCHEDULE:

8 AM – Get up and ready for the day, eat breakfast

9 AM – Work on e-learning, homework and other educational work (reading, etc)

11 AM – Snack / Outside time

12 PM – Chores

1 PM – Lunch / Free time

2 PM  – Finish up e-learning or other educational work (maybe volunteer or helping neighbors)

4 PM – Free time

5 PM – Dinner / Family time together

7 PM  – Kids in their rooms, parents time for relationship or solo time