Overall in these stressful times, we can all try to find positivity and be a little less stressed with these ideas for the whole family. It is good for parents and families to try to keep to some sort of a routine. This means trying to do things at the same time each day to create a sense of comfort. It also may be a good idea to try to keep children away from the news as much as possible and try to provide them with a sense of calm and reassurance. Here are a few strategies for talking to children about the news.
In addition, Families Can Maintain Routines By:
- Keeping hygiene routines - getting dressed, brushing teeth, baths or showers each day to provide a sense of structure to the day
- Setting a schedule for activities and trying to stick to that as much as possible
Ideas and Resources:
CHI Health behavioral health providers gathered ideas and resources for activities that families can do.
Physical Activity Ideas and Family Fun
- The Floor is Lava: When stuck indoors consider a game of "The Floor is Lava." Select one person to be the “it” person. Everyone selects a place to stand. This could be the floor, a chair, a rug, the counter, etc. The person who is “it” says, “The _(chair, rug, couch, etc fill in the blank)__ is lava in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1). The person who isn’t able to get off the new lava spot and to a new spot by the time the count gets to 1 would be the new “it” person.
- Indoor Camping: Build an indoor tent/fort and let the kids sleep in it.
- Family Photo Fun: Select a member of the family to represent all the family members then choose a way to dress up in various ways to represent the selected family member. Capture the fun in a photo to share with friends and family. Do this to represent each member of the family.
- Movement and Mindfulness: "Brain Break" and other activities to get active or calm down in the form of videos for kids: https://www.gonoodle.com/
- Kid-friendly Workouts: Get moving with these workouts: https://app.sworkit.com/collections/kids-workouts
Printables, Crafts and More Kids and Teen activities:
Ideas for Parents to Ease Stress:
For parents, it is important to take mental breaks when possible. It helps to plan this for a time when kids are napping or in bed for the night or when plan at different times so you and your partner can trade off caring for the kids so time is uninterrupted. A few ideas include:
- Schedule a virtual coffee break/happy hour with friends and family
- Mom’s night out/man cave event online with friends
Jamie A. Ryder, Ph.D.
Lindsay Stayton, MSW, LIMHP
Integrated Behavioral Health Specialist