In the not so distant past, finding activities for your kids to participate in outside of school or on the weekends was a breeze. In fact, the sheer amount of extracurricular activities for youth was verging on too much, placing a strain on family relationships and resources. Then COVID-19 came along, and suddenly, the parenting world was turned upside.
Now, a different problem plagues most parents. With months of quarantine, schooling moved online and drastically less social interactions with others, many grownups are finding themselves pondering a question they’ve never been faced with before: “How can I keep my kids occupied beyond school work and on weekends?” It’s not an easy task to fill days or summer breaks when kids have nothing but lots and lots of time on their hands, especially when you as the parent are still putting in full work weeks. Here are a few strategies for keeping your kids occupied and having fun during these long quarantine days.
1. Find One New Thing of Interest
Maybe your teen has always talked about auditioning for “The Voice” or insists he or she could beat anyone on “The Great British Bake Off.” No matter which way their interest leans at the moment now is the perfect time to help them along in their passion. Find a way to set up remote voice or singing lessons, purchase a few new pastry tools and let them YouTube their next baking challenge. Whatever it is, learning a new thing and expressing some creativity can reap loads of mental and emotional rewards in stressful times such as these.
2. Keep Their Activity Levels Up
Even if your kid said goodbye to organized sports in elementary school, that doesn’t mean teens and young adults alike don’t need some type of physical activity every day. In fact, exercise positively impacts nearly every part of your youngster’s body, including their emotional health. Getting the recommended 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day can even lower their potential of ending up with life-threatening diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. So, stream a yoga session with them or dust off your weight plates in the garage and encourage them to get their sweat on.
3. Allow Personal and Free Time
Of course, you’d be kidding yourself if you really expected your offspring to be productive every hour during the quarantine. Just like us adults, your teens need a little time to blow off steam. And you can support them here too even if you’re not necessarily invited to participate. Have a gamer on your hands? Think about investing in Cox’s Elite Gamer, the best router for gaming money can buy. This router allows your teen to find the fastest path to their game servers, meaning they’ll experience less lag, fewer ping spikes, and less jitter, all while gaining some coveted downtime and connection with friends online.
Finding a Balance Between Work And Play
As parents, you try to ensure your kid’s happiness and success throughout their lives. But in challenging times such as these, no one really has a clear road map on what that requires. While schedules and routines are useful and needed to keep teens on track, too much structure can lead to power struggles and tension within a family unit. Kids need time to be just that — kids. So, along with schoolwork and family bonding, make sure they get breaks and free time to do what they want, like level up on the leaderboard.