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Cooking on Lockdown with David and Mia
Tips for supporting vulnerable children
After the strict 3 month lockdown earlier this year, we are all lockdown veterans now, right? Whether you’ve found yourself in the same position, with the same family members quarantining as last time, or things have changed in your household, the best thing we can all do is sit down with our households and discuss what did and didn’t work last time, and create a plan that will suit everyone going forward.
Whilst many will jump at the chance to spend quality time with their families, for others it is likely to cause high levels of stress and anxiety. Juggling work and a family under normal circumstances is challenging enough, but mixed with another sudden lock down, home schooling (for those who have chosen to continue with it) and being around each other 24hrs a day, hostile moments and disagreements are inevitable for even the closest of families.
Communication is key, and some structure and routine will help everyone keep a sense of normality. Do take your differences into account, for example are you all morning people or do some of the family prefer a little extra time in bed? Which ever is preferred make sure you create a schedule which is fair, there is no need to get someone up at 6am if the early birds will be occupying the bathroom!
A good way to kickstart the day is gather everyone together, for breakfast perhaps, and discuss the plan for the day ahead. For those working from home, make a clear point of letting the family know if you have meetings etc when you won’t want to be disturbed, to avoid any unnecessary arguments! It’s important to schedule family time, as well as time everyone having time to themselves, as both are equally important for a happy and balanced household. Communication is key, and clearly and honestly discussing any problems, although it can be uncomfortable, is the best way to overcome them. Be sure to take time to really listen to each other and make sure everyone’s needs are being met.
Top Tips For Families In Quarantine Together
- Take time for you – being stuck inside with everyone in your household 24 hours a day is bound to take its toll. Communicate with your family when you feel you need some time alone and politely asked not to be disturbed while you have some time to complete a task or carry out some self care. Alternatively you can get out for a walk or some exercise alone.
- Communicate openly about any problems or frustrations – Arguments happen, and being cooped up with the same people all day every day, you are bound to get on each others nerves from time to time. Making time and space to speak honestly about your feelings to each other can help create a calmer and happier environment for everyone
- Find a routine that works for everyone – having a routine will help create a sense of normality for the household, take everyone’s needs into account and work together as a family to create a pleasant atmosphere and household that’s working like clockwork.
- If you are struggling, speak to someone – you are not alone, and even if you don’t feel able to confide in a family member there are plenty of crisis charities who you can call at any time. See our health and wellness section for more info
Homeschooling in lockdown
Schools are still open now, but if you have decided to homeschool again this time around you can ask for tasks for your children from their school. Some great instagram accounts to follow for inspiration , support from other parents and materials are
Websites that also offer great materials for parents homeschooling are BBC Bitesize, BBC Tech and Khan Academy. If you are not confident coming up with lessons for your child yourself, there are plenty of YouTube videos dedicated to different subjects, including mathematics and languages. Be sure to review and fact check any materials before passing them onto your child.
Even if you are not confident creating lessons for your child yourself, one lesson that’s both easy and very important is art. If you can get materials or already have some at home, sit with your child and encourage them to be creative. Drawing is great entertainment and brilliant for lifting moods. Equally, PE is an important and rewarding subject that you can easily recreate at home. Joe Wicks @Thebodycoach on YouTube is offering free and fun classes for adults and children alike on his channel.
If you are struggling to juggle homeschooling and work life, speak to your employer, speak to other parents homeschooling for advice or take advantage of the ‘Childcare Bubble’ you are allowed to have during this lockdown, where you are permitted to have one person from one other household come and provide informal childcare for households with children under 13 years old
Free Classes for Kids
9:00am – PE with Joe Wicks
10:00am – Music with Myleene Klass
14:00pm – History with Dan Snow
15:00pm – English With David Williams
17:30pm – Food Tech With Jamie Oliver
Join PE Joe on his YouTube channel every day doing these exercises.
Self Care for Parents and Couples
Think of ways you can unleash your creativity. You might want to get started on some books you’ve been meaning to read for ages, yoga, try drawing, or a spot of DIY.
- Schedule a 1hr time out for all members of the household. This allows everyone an important breather and time to unwind. The only rule is it has to be a task carried out individually, but it can be anything….watching TV, social media, long bath, exercise, puzzles, napping or fresh air (its advisable to escort children under 16 for this specific item).
- If you are a couple with small children, take it in turns to each have your hour and look after the children so you both have separate breaks.
- If you’re not unwell exercise is a good way of relieving stress and staying healthy both mentally and physically. Whether it’s an online yoga class or a short, daily walk, it’s likely to do your mental health and your relationships some good.
- Meditation can be a great way of de-stressing and focussing on the present moment. Headspace is a great app for getting started.
- If you feel like you have too much going on in your head, keeping a journal about how you are feeling can help you to make sense of it all.
- Make sure you drink enough water, eat regular, healthy meals and get enough sleep.
- If you are working from home, try to be disciplined about keeping to office hours and be sure to take plenty of breaks.