Olga G. Yeritsidou, B.A., M.A.
If you have been granted time off from work, or have been ordered to stay at home in isolation, along with your children, you have a unique opportunity to use this time to bond! You also have a great chance to lay some groundwork so that you will guide them and help them develop towards success in life.
The most vital thing is to set a framework for these mandatory “vacations”. A framework which will guarantee that your child be efficient in his/her environment as well as become an active member of constructive family processes and behaviors. That way, you will be instilling in your child cognitive prowess that will manifest in responsibility, intelligence and confidence in him/her.
Your basic goal is to ensure that your child is included in daily family tasks under your guidance, tutelage and supervision:
During the beginning of the quarantine period:
Together with your child, divide the day in specific time zones which will be dedicated each to one of the following functional, interpersonal and personal needs:
- Tidying up the environment (i.e. the house)
- Cleaning up the environment (i.e. the house)
- Preparing food
- Quality time with you, the parent(s)
- General interpersonal activities
- Activities on educational matters:
- Drilling and checking of competence per subject with the parents
- Enhancing knowledge and support in areas where competence is low
- Teaching and study on the lessons that would have been covered at school if school were still in session
- Final overview and feedback of the educational experience between parent and child
- Personal time for the child to kick back
- Family gathering towards the end of the day
- Family dinner
- Overview and discussion of all experiences of the day by all the family members
- Common family activity (e.g. watching a movie or TV, listening to music, games, etc) prior to sleep
In order to create a viable and practical daily schedule that will include all of the above activities, you must take into account your needs as well as the child’s/children’s needs according to age and family parameters (e.g. number of family members, children’s age, parent schedule and work/home time, etc).
It’s important that you schedule only what you pragmatically, practically know will be doable every day, because you and your family will need to follow it faithfully throughout the quarantine in order to achieve maximum effects!