As the full force of the Coronavirus outbreak sweeps the world, negativity is almost as detrimental as disease. From panic buying to the actual death rate, this can seem like a pretty bleak time. Fortunately, your family psychologist in Littleton knows some tricks to make the best of this bad situation. Read on to find out some light ways to replace everyday activities that might make the day a little easier.
Score More Screen Time!
For kids and teens, the silver lining to this time might be a chance to score more screen time! Child psychologists and pediatricians typically recommend no more than an hour or two of screen time for children, but during these circumstances, we make exceptions. A great rule of thumb is to consider your child’s previous screen time allowance and maintain this—but schooling, visiting relatives, or seeing your child psychologist by telehealth should not cut into it! This way, your child does not feel like they “miss out” or “waste” screen time on studying, calling loved ones, or getting important mental health treatment.
Learn in Place
Did you know Ivy League Schools are offering free classes? Especially for those sheltering in place, learning must be addressed. Some schools have online curriculums ready, while others are shutting down and considering summer sessions. Don’t let your child’s education slide! Help them learn in place (and help around the house) by engaging in cooking, cleaning, and home projects. Learn to play an instrument, take a drawing or photography class. Engage in a Lego challenge. Older children can conduct internet research, write poetry and blogs, and practice taking college entrance tests. Life doesn’t have to stop, it just has to stay inside.
Enjoy a Fancy, Restaurant-Style Dinner
Missing family dinner night? With restaurants closed, this could be the perfect opportunity to engage the whole family in recreating a restaurant-style dinner. Set the table with the nice dishes, bring out some tablecloths and fancy napkins, and even create a menu—this is the perfect activity for grade-school and middle-school kids to explore. Practice manners during dinner at your “Family Restaurant” so you don’t get stuck gobbling down meals on the couch!
Host a Concert or Movie
Your favorite entertainment venue is closed, so why not play pretend at home? This could take the form of a DJ set, where each family member gets to play their favorite songs, a sing-along concert or lip-synching contest, or even a “movie viewing” with your favorite snacks.
Many of the world’s most amazing landscapes, museums, and art collections are available for virtual tours. Why not take a “family visit?” Have family members take turns “directing” the visit (such as advancing the webpage, zooming in, reading captions out loud), or even plan a shared virtual trip with family across the world! This can be a fun way for younger children to connect to distant relatives, as attention to a face on a screen can be quite low.
Remember, you can still go outside and play , as long as you stay away from others. Don’t forget to enjoy some physical activity during this period of quarantine! For more ideas and support during this process, contact Dr. Lazarus, psychologist in Littleton.