Positive Parenting in Uncertain Times. Part 13 ; Back to Routine

Back to a routine

Routines can be challenging after spending such a long time without one in lock down, not having to drive anywhere, no school pack lunches to make, no thoughts of pre-planning dinners, no after school activities or Saturday sports. Getting use to just doing ‘zoom’ meetings, school classes and or work.

Now, having spent a week or two in a routine, that involves going to work, putting petrol in the car, getting kids ready for school, lunches, getting that frozen food out of the freezer for dinner and starting social groups and sports can be exhausting both physically and mentally.

It’s naturally for our body’s to be tiered during the re-adjusting period. Try not to be too hard on yourself or your children.

Your children may require more quiet time, earlier bedtimes, relaxing weekends at home.

It’s tempting to get in the car and dash off every weekend, but actually what you and the children may need is just ‘chill out’ time at home, as crazy as that sounds given the fact you’ve spent weeks at home during lock down!

Finding the ‘right’ routine again for you and your family may take time.

Tiredness, work and school may cause tension, stress, less time for fun and may cause the family to start becoming de-fragmented.

Remember to communicate with the family, especially your children, they still need to be heard they need your time, they need time to ‘de-brief’ about their day and any emotions.

Some suggestions for activities could be:

Family Values

Sit as a family and re-visit your family values, treaty or rules – all take part, you could create a piece of art with these.

Questions at the dinner table

Rather than asking your children (or family members) how they feel or how their day was as often these two questions lead to short answers such as: Good, OK, Fine.

Instead Ask:

1.  What is the one thing that has made you happy today?

2.  If you could change one thing about your day what would it be?

3.  What would you change about your routine IF you could?

4.  How could you make your day more joyful?

5.  If you went to bed tonight and when you awoke your ‘wish’ had come true what would it be?

Practice turning off your work phone or computer (at least) for a few hours between dinner and bedtime – giving your attention to your children.

Be Kind to yourself – you may have a job that requires yourself supporting others or teaching others or managing a team. When you work with people you can find yourself taking on their stresses, fears, worries, their challenges adapting to routine. Ask for support – don’t be worried about asking for ‘help’.

Go to your GP, ask your workplace if they have Employee Assistance Program (EAP), free counselling.

Remind your children that they could talk to the School counselor, School Social Worker and teachers.

Remember ‘returning’ to a routine can be challenging – it requires energy and time.

Be kind to yourself and your children.