Working from Home for Parents

Reviewed May 7, 2020

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Help you in any way that I can. We'll get going. We're going to talk about working with children from home definitely through COVID-19. This is through Beacon. There's a lot of different emotions that we can go through right now in working from home. It's not just that we picked up our office and moved it. We picked up our office and we moved it to our living room or our kitchen or our bonus room or our basement or next to our child perhaps depending on the space. We are dealing with that and helping to deal with our children.

On this call, I've already seen we have college age kids home like I do. We have high schoolers, middle schoolers, lower schoolers and preschoolers and toddlers. That is a lot to manage. Know that I hear you and there are so many people struggling right along with you. These emotions, these things that you see across the bottom of the screen, all of these are normal. Anxiety, depression, I don't think anybody has job loss right now at least not on this call. Working remotely can exacerbate any of these things.

One of the first things that we want to do is really just sit and think about how we feel. Sometimes, especially when we're dealing with children, as parents, we can be really, really focused on the child and where they are. We want to do that. We want to engage with them. We want to discuss with them what they're doing. We also want to sit and stop and see where we are. We've heard the word unprecedented so many times but it really is. We don't really have anything to compare it to.

Even what we hear from the experts change day to day because they're learning. We're excited that there are experts out there that are learning and are sharing with us as they learn. Don't ignore your feelings. Stop and try to sit with it and think about how do I really feel? Because sometimes, we just go on automatic pilot and don't stop to sit and think where we are. If we can sit and work through our anxieties and fears first before dealing with our children, then we will be very much in a better spot.

We want to prepare for the long haul. We don't know how long this is going to go. We're all figuring it out as we go. I think it's hard when our children ask us questions and we don't necessarily have an answer because it's changing. If we can just say, "Okay. I'm going to mentally prepare. This could be another month at home. This could be more. It could be less." A lot of it depends on where you live clearly. New York and surrounding areas are definitely harder hit in terms of this virus. Children get to be children no matter what.

They still have to do school but they're still kids. They don't have to be adults. They don't have to pay the bills. They don't have to think about how they're going to manage their time so much when they're little. We know that we're still the parents and we have to keep everything running smoothly. Remind yourself this does have a beginning, a middle and an end. Right now, we don't know exactly where in that timeline it is. I liken this a little bit to when I was on bed rest. I would tell any mothers there who were ever put on bed rest.

I was on bed rest with my second two children. The first one, I was flat out. I couldn't do anything except take a shower and use the restroom. I have to lay flat. That was about three and a half weeks I think. For my third child, it was five weeks. I was down most of the time but I could get up a little bit more. I remember thinking our brain and the rest of the world was going on around me. It wasn't like everybody was in it together. I remember thinking I can't stand my den anymore. I'm never going to come in this room again when this is over.

I said, "You know what? I think maybe we should paint this room. When we're done with this, let's paint this room just because I don't want to look at it anymore. You know what? Let's just move. I think when this is all over, I just want to move. Because I never want to see this room again." It just felt like it would never end. Of course, I knew it would end. In my head, I knew it would end. I didn't know how long I would go until these two children were born. I remember thinking this feels like it will never end.

In retrospect, I thought, of course, I know it's going to end but I don't know when. It felt deep. It felt hard. All these different emotions would come through. They were different everyday. That's probably the best analogy I have or what we're in although I will say people were not dying. My loved ones were not dying, which brings a whole another element of fear into it. Let's see. If you have a question, motivating out of work partner to help more with child care especially when you are working full-time.

I would say with definitely talking about it, the best thing we could do is share. Probably that out of work person, a spouse or a partner is probably really feeling scared and defeated perhaps more than they're letting on. Definitely, it's much talking as you can do. Also, if you can take advantage of using their phone, their online opportunity to talk. Maybe have a mediator outside person with your benefit to just help you talk through some logistics. What are some things that we can do?

What are some things that you could do to help me and then I can do to help you? Instead of just saying, "I really need you to," maybe the ways and the words are that how can we help each other? When I'm working full-time, it would really help me if you did this. What if we talk about it this way or at the bath after dinner or whatever? Dividing it up that way. I can imagine that that would be really frustrating. Recognizing the way we feel and sitting with it and acknowledging.

This is hard for me and not keeping it under wraps sharing it with your significant other. If you're a single parent, that's a whole another really hard or a grandparent. That's a whole another hard way to be going through this. As we look at each day, routine does seem to feel better. At this point, you probably have a little bit of a routine. If you can get at, maybe you could get the kids up about the same time. At least Monday through Friday around the same time.

If they are on a Zoom classroom setting where they're meeting with their teachers at the same time, then that's easier. If they're not and you're giving it to them or you're seeing more of their work, then that's a little bit harder. That's more on you. Let's try to set something that's semi-structural and regular. Because children, especially children who tend to be a little bit more anxious, tend to get more anxious without structure. It feels like everything's loosey goosey. Nobody's in charge. That can feel really scary to a child.

One of my three, it does head more to be a little bit more anxious. Things that made him more anxious was change. First of all, nobody likes change. Now, everything' changed. The whole world has changed. Without structure, he needed things to follow some pattern. Sometimes, that's comforting to children. If you can get that routine starting Monday through Friday, something similar, because yes, in a sense, change is hard for all of us not just for our children.

If you're able to have breakfast together in the morning, that is a great opportunity to start the day right and discuss the day. Do you have any tests today? Do you have any lessons? What kind of reading are going to do together? Maybe play some uplifting music together. Something that everybody enjoys. Something that's happy. Just set everybody's mental state in the right place and their spirits in a happy place. These are our expectations for today. We're doing this at this time. You're doing this at this time.

Maybe we'll all be together at lunch and have a little break. Maybe we can take a walk outside depending on where you live. I know it's starting to warm up in a lot of different place. I know it's still cold in some places. Tell them. Okay. I have a meeting from this time to this time. I saw somebody with a three and a one-year-old. You're not going to be able to tell them. You're going to have to partner up with that. I'm assuming there's somebody there to partner with you on this.

For children who understands, my husband is all set up in our bonus room. In Charlotte, we have our dirt and such that we don't have as many basement as we have bonus rooms, which is an extra room where we have a TV and a ping-pong table. I've got mine cleaned up but I'm staying in my office that I have at home. He's all set up in the bonus room. On the pool table, chalkboard behind him. He has COVID-19 Day ... We're on 30 something I think. He puts on his door when he has a conference call.

It's a sign that says, "I'm in a client call or a corporate call," or whatever. I have a sign on my door saying, "I'm doing a webinar." If you can find some system to let them know, "Okay. I'm going to be talking to a client. I'm going to be up on a team meeting," whatever to let them know, get them to have as much communication as you can to them, that will be helpful. I know this might sound hard but your primary job is to be in a good mood. You're not going to be in a good mood.

Let me just say that you're not going to be in a good mood everyday. It's going to be days that you're going to have to say to your child or your children, "I'm just having a tough day. I wanted to go outside. I'm just missing our normal day." That's okay. That's okay. Try to stay positive as much as you can and let them know that it's okay for them to feel not okay sometimes. Again, one of the ways, a lot of the ways that we take care of ourselves and as a fitness instructor, I'm a huge advocate of exercise.

There's so much great science on what exercise does to boost our mood compared even to medication. Exercising, get outside, try to get the sleep you need. I've read a lot about people having weird dreams and having a hard time sleeping. Do the best you can to get the sleep that you need. Eating well and limiting alcohol. I think at first, a lot of people are like, "It's a free for all." Maybe you've been eating a lot of junk foods. It's snow day or something. For our health, we need to be eating nutritious things.

Obviously, getting some treats in there or finding some fun, healthy things to bake together are great ideas. As you're healthy, as you continue to maintain your health, you're also hopefully giving these healthy foods to your children. That everyone's feeling good. They're not sluggish or feeling gross. There is a lot of fun exercise things you can do together as well. Setting up a schedule will make everyone feel more normal to have that schedule and that routine. It sets healthy expectations.

Children obviously who can read, if they can't read, it's not really going to help. Maybe there's some system you can work with your significant other, whoever is with you there. Whether it's a parent helping you, whether you do have somebody staying there outside of your family that's helping. Maybe you could do it to actually draw a picture of something like, I don't know. A circle or a line through it or something or even just a big circle that will direct a red light. Just a visual, whether or not it works and they still come in.

That's a cool side that we'll be talking about. We're seeing the inside of people's houses. We're seeing their kids. We're seeing Jimmy Fallon. I never watch Late Night. Now, he's great. I love his kids. They're cute little girls. They're climbing and the pets, your pet comes, interrupts and knocks something over. That's just life. I think we're seeing a more human side of each other than perhaps we did before. Maybe that's one of the benefits that comes out of this bizarre situation that we're in.

We talk about younger children, which many of you have. We're going to have to reduce some of our expectations of them in terms of being neat all the time. Let them be messy within reason. Whatever that reason is, whatever that within reason, whether it's your boundaries and your boundaries are going to be different than my boundaries. Whether it be somebody else's boundaries, that's something that you and your significant other will need to decide.

Even my messy Marv and it's home from college, I said, "How about once a week? Just once a week pick those clothes up. Just put them in the drawer." Yes. Somebody else said I allowed myself to be messy, too. Sometimes, I walk past something. You've been sorting through things. You have things that you want to give away but you can't take them anywhere. I have these vibes that they're just sitting there and I just think, "You know what? I'm just going to give myself a break right now. I'm going to give myself a break."

Let them be loud when you're not on a call. When it's time, they're going to need to yell. Maybe that's a good opportunity to go outside and yell for a little while. Manage that as you are able. Unless they misbehave within reason. Maybe let some rules slide that you don't normally. Again, talking through these things with them to process them will certainly help mitigate some of that misbehavior. Yell with them. That's one in the comments. Yell with them. Go outside and just yell. Let some of that out, that energy. They do still need discipline.

You'll have to decide what your limits are as I mentioned before and just stick with them. I'd love to hear what some of your ideas about what you're allowing or what you're not allowing. Because that's going to be very different from person to person. What something that you wouldn't normally allow but you're letting slide right now? At least sometimes. If you have any of those ideas, pop that in the chat function.

As I mentioned, they do need structure especially if they tend to be a little bit more anxious, they thrive on structure. They don't like change. Here's a response that's coming in. Fortnite. Keep them in different places and let them take toys out. Keep the toys maybe in one room. More lax on TV time. A little more game time. School from home has to be complete but it doesn't have to be completed in one day. Yeah. If it's not due tomorrow, why make them do it all at one time? I'm bad about that.

I always say, "Do the things you have to do and then you can do the things that you want to do." My mantra. I am letting that slide a little bit. More snack during the day. A little more screen time. Later bed times and then sleeping extra at home. That's a good idea. We have done that as well. A little more Roblox and Minecraft. Okay. I know what Minecraft is but I don't know what Roblox is. I assume that's some video game.

Someone says that they find it difficult to let housework slide as sometimes, it's the only thing I can do on a given day to feel like I've accomplished something. Yes. Sometimes, I'll put in my AirPods and maybe catch up with somebody on the phone. My aunt and uncle lives in Virginia. I call and check on them. Put my AirPods in and I sweep. I'll sweep the house. I'll go outside and sweep. I'll dust. I'll clean the blinds. I'll do some laundry and fold because it makes me feel in control, which is great. Having sense of accomplishment is huge.

Don't underestimate that. Later bed times. Allowing them until they wake up. Have something past 7:30. Yeah. I get that. That will change. Trust me. Staying up later. Getting up later for school. Eat their Easter candy when they've been good. Playing independently, not fighting with each other. Not walking to my conference call. That's so cute. More technology time. The kids are choosing where they want to sleep. What a great idea. If they want to sleep in a fort in the living room, fine.

If they want to sleep on a pallet, go for it rather than having to sleep in their own bed. That's a fun idea. I love that. I know there's going to be a lot of people feeling that idea. One in middle school that you really have to watch over to make sure they work. I have a lot of friends with middle schoolers who say the same thing. That's a middle school thing for sure. The younger ones are a little more needy and cannot do it all with working. Yeah. You just have to let some things like family board game nights, family movie nights.

We do that as well. We do one night a week where we order from a local restaurant that's not a chain or even franchises locally. Mostly, we do the small businesses and try to order out and go pick up from them at least. We're not a big eater outers but we do that. Somebody said Roblox day or night. Niece comes over every week to work with them for two hours. What a great niece. Let the kids vacuum. That's a fun idea. That's another thing. We talk about chores. You can say that they can help with chores around the house.

Think about what's age appropriate for them. Get the older ones to help. Somebody's got a 12-year-old that helps a lot. Order some small gift cards from Amazon as their reward for helping with his brother. I love that. Take them outside on to lunch everyday. That's a great idea. A lot of TBS for kids. A lot of things. Go out for a walk. That's what we do. My 16-year-old could stay in her cave literally all day. Do her school work. Come down for dinner and either go back to her cave or watch something with all of us.

I have to almost make her walk. Come for a 30-minute walk. "I don't want to. I don't want to." When she does, she feels so much better. Because again, science shows that moving makes us feel better as does being outside. More screen time. More outside play. Outside watching movies. That's so cute. I packed their lunch there in school so they feel that little bit of connection. Outside water day. Yeah. That's great in the South. Who can stay for weeks to earn money. Great ideas. Make meals for the next day each night with them to help.

That's a great idea. Five-year-old is helping. I love this. Scavenger hunt. Set up a milestone to look forward to each week. They camp out in a tent in our front yard one night. That's so fun. That must be somewhere in the South where it's warm. Skitbo family night after dinner. I don't know what that is. I'm going to have to Google that. Skitbo. S-K-I-T-B-O. Have a picnic outside. Picking up little today for Earth Day. I did notice that it's the cleanest Earth Day in history. I saw on the news this morning. I'm sure it is. Some other things.

The chores, if they can sweep and do trash, vacuum, dust, help with dinner. Maybe laundry but you guys already, you're on top of it. These are great ideas that you can do with kids of all different ages to help have fun and laugh. Also, I even have some friends. We were talking and they were saying even if they really want this to be over, it's scary. People are dying. Our medical care professionals are exhausted. There's a sweetness about being at home with our family that we would never get.

People are getting to know their spouses again or your significant other. Getting to know your children again, possibly your parents, possibly your niece. There's a sweetness of it. The other thing I would say is try to enjoy and have gratitude in the moment that you're in. Know again there's a beginning, a middle and an end. Here's some more ideas for children. Use a bread machine so they can help to make bread or you put maybe yeast to free bread. I heard there was a shortage on yeast.

You can make the flatbread like banana bread. Of course, I heard banana. The naan bread, the apparently comfort food of the Coronavirus, Corona food. Using shaving cream to pain the bathroom. I do remember our kids doing that on the kitchen table when they were little. Of course, I know you can have the sidewalk chalk. Cooking for neighbors. Baking and sharing something. I had fun looking for some new healthy recipes. My son in college lived in the dorm his freshman year. He returned in the house his sophomore year.

It's not really have him cook on his own but next year, he's going to be living in a house with some other guys. He's thinking, "I got to figure out how to make more than scrambled eggs and grilled cheese sandwiches." That's been fun. There's so many great things. There's more things online now than ever before as I'm sure you know. Just go to YouTube or any of those places where you'll find some great ideas for cooking. Making greeting cards for ... This says nursing rooms but I'm pretty sure I mean nursing homes.

Healthcare workers that you can share. If you know anybody or you know friends who have families that are on the front lines. Ask them for their address. Send them a note. We did this at our church where they send a list. They're a big church. A list of our healthcare workers, nurses, receptionists, doctors, PAs, whoever is there. Respiratory technicians who's on the front lines and write them notes. Also, that will be great for people who are shut in if you have family members that you can't see.

Help your kids clean out the closet and donate clothes. Of course, most places aren't taking donations now. Set it aside. Maybe in your garage or in a corner somewhere. See if any neighbors need assistance with their pet. Especially if they're not able to walk, that would be a great way. We don't have a pet. I know a lot of people, walking a pet would be a great opportunity to walk. I just got a question. Any tips for getting toddlers to wear a mask so you can take them for walks outside?

I don't think you have to wear a mask outside because you are outside. Even Dr. Fauci when he is walking or actually when he's running, he is not wearing a mask when he's outside. He's passing people, which I found very interesting. If you just save to get your toddler to wear a mask, maybe Google, find some pictures online of other little kids wearing masks. Maybe pick up their favorite character that they have on TV. Say, "Why don't you wear the mask?" Is Barney even on anymore? I don't know. Dora the Explorer. I don't know who it is.

Maybe something like that, that is a tough one I have to admit. A couple of other ideas, if they're small, of course crayons, Legos, music, dancing. Everybody loves to dance. If they're school age, lower school, elementary school, they can practice their letters, reading, flash cards. Organize other people's closets maybe. I know some kids really like to organize. Videos or books also Kahn Academy, that's K-A-H-N. If you have a high schooler, you probably know Kahn Academy helps kids prepare for their SAT and ACT. It's free. It's K-A-H-N.

It's Kahn Academy. Just Google Kahn Academy. They have activities, learning activities for kids all the way. I don't know if there's pre-schoolers but I know they have all the way down through I think Kindergarten. That is a great free resource that you could have. Somebody had a great suggestion for a mask. There are patterns for kid-size mask on Etsy. That's a great suggestion. Thank you for that. Being in a New York City apartment with no outdoor space other than endless streets. That's a tough one. I'm at a loss.

Dancing, jumping is an option. Neighbors, oh, my word. I have people in the New York City apartments running the stairs. My daughter is still very much in touch. There's a large community she's involved with in New York. They're streaming every week. I sit on them a lot with her. One of the girls, her parents run up and down their stairs multiple times. If they can't jump, maybe try to be creative as you can. Swim across the floor. Let's maybe show their kids how to do squats. Little squats and little line on the floor thing. Be above. Yoga.

Maybe look up a kids' yoga class on YouTube, something like that. That is tough. Especially with the dancers, neighbors that they're complaining. Special needs children. Redirection. Most therapists aren't open during this time. Routine and setting re-directions can be distracting. Yeah. Definitely. That is tough. That's something else that I would say reach out to your EAP and see what they have in terms of specifically for disability. Disability is such a wide range.

It just depends on whether it's physical, mental, combination, ADD, learning disability. The recommendations will be so different for all of those. Definitely reach out to Beacon with their number and work with them. See if they can get some plans in place for you. Somebody said their friends have an indoor small trampoline. Yeah. I used to have one of those, too. The mini trampolines. You can order. I don't think that would be too loud. There's truly no impact on the actual frame of the mini tramp.

It's all being absorbed by the trampoline, the part itself. That's a great idea. Yes. It would be hard for a 19-month-old. I agree. Okay. We just got a great suggestion. Cosmic kids yoga on YouTube. Okay, you all. That's in the panelists. I'm going to cut and paste and put it for all of you to see to the participants. Cosmic kids yoga on YouTube. Okay. I have not vetted that myself. One of your fellow attendees like that. I put stick mats on the ground so when the baby is jumping, it's not as loud. Great idea. No impact videos. Yes.

These comments are just coming to me. In the event that people don't want something shared. Somebody else said that their kids are doing cosmic yoga right now. Apps on the smart TV for different exercises, opportunities. I did a bouncing kids at home with productivity and audit to me. Would that have any points? That's tough because I would think that most employers would know. We're obviously all working from home. I would say this is a short period of time. They are not going to be ruined by a few extra hours of definitely straight or game board.

We do video games at our house except for Wii. If that is something that you have, I would also say maybe really talk to whoever you're responsible to and ask them. Other than that, see if you could have maybe an older child help the younger ones. If you know of any other families that have been really staying in what they call their pod that they're keeping with their own really clean and taking this very seriously. Maybe when their people would be willing to come help during that time. For older kids, Kahn Academy again, SAT, ACT practice.

Now is a great time to do that. Read. I guess sort through some old pictures. If you have old pictures that you've always been wanting to put in a photo album, all those who had pictures anymore. I have my kids air it, will strip all the sheets. Let's wash them. Put them back on your bed. Give them some things that aren't too hard. Somebody said there was a post going around Facebook that had a weight set kids bike up to ride while indoors. Look that up. A way to set kids bike up to ride while indoors.

I'm going to cut and paste this so you guys can see it. A live webcam at the Georgia Aquarium. Great idea. Shutterfly has free four by six unlimited on your phone. What a great idea. For bikes with training wheels, put shoes underneath the training wheels. That would lift the bike up. That is a great idea. Also, I see people just do the most creative things. Look at your social media feed. There's a lot of great, just super creative things that people are doing. We don't all have a slide in our house like Jimmy Fallon does. Okay. Moving along.

Older children. Even the older ones need discipline. I feel like a lot of times, they're flying under the radar. I find myself feeling a little guilty sometimes for letting her fly under the radar. I'm getting rid of 10 feet. Somebody else said plant and have a garden, which I love. Sorry I missed that. They have to continue to work and learn what your school is requiring of them. We can't let them sleep all day. Even my college student, I have to go and say, "Buddy, you got to get up. Your circadian rhythm is all wonky.

There's going to come a time that you're going to have to get up at a normal time." You might have to proctor some of their learning. You might have to oversee a test here and there. Sometimes, they do need to be reassured. They're missing graduation. They're missing prom. They're missing dances. They're missing their friends. They're missing school. This is also a great time to really focus on gratitude. Did you ever think you would miss school? Did you ever think you would miss seeing your friends?

How grateful and how fortunate are we to live in a place where you get to go to school and you get to interact daily with people? Somebody else just said Kahn Academy, kids have free books and games for young kids. It didn't actually say what Kahn Academy books looks like. Shutterfly also has custom puzzles. You could upload family photos and make a personalized jigsaw puzzle. What a fabulous idea. Somebody said to plant the tomato seeds in a little pot. Transplant them into a larger garden.

Somebody said they crossed an outline of a tennis court in the street in front of their house. Did you all see these videos of people in Italy playing tennis from one roof to the other? I was shocked because I do not have the swing to get a ball because I'm thinking there were a lot of balls in between the buildings. That is so clever. Tennis court on the street so they can just play tennis right out there socially distanced to people outside.

Remind your kids there's going to be a time that we're going to look back on this and we're going to say, "Wow. That was a really cool time we had together. That was really a sweet moment in time." They need to be allowed to be disappointed because they are missing things. Sit with them in that. Sit with them in that instead of trying to always make it better. Sit with them in the sadness a little bit. Sometimes, they will make need more screen time obviously. If they're doing Zoom on school and to connect with their friends. Let them Zoom. Let them FaceTime.

Teach them to mom with the five-year old with cooking dinner, preparing dinner for the next day. That's a great idea. If you've been thinking, "I really need to learn to teach them to do laundry." What's age appropriate? Look at those things and try to use this time. Somebody else said they use the Houseparty app to video chat with family and friends. I do not know that app. I'm going to cut and paste it so you all can see it. I'm going to have to look that up, Houseparty app. We did do a Zoom birthday party for my father-in-law who turned 80.

That was really fun. Chopped. Yes, watching Chopped and using food items around the house and the mystery baskets. We have done that as well even when we weren't in quarantine. We were talking about doing that, too because we can say, "I want to do dessert but I have to go to the store." I said, "No. We're not going to the store." We haven't left. That is a great idea. What you have, whether it says dessert or a salad or a side dish or a main dish, you just create. Fun games like cooking dinner for mom and dad. We need to eat whatever it is.

Put on makeup or nail polish with blind fold. That's hilarious, girl. That's a great idea. Actually, my husband thought that would be fun because I said, "We need to think of how we're going to have a date night. We can't leave our kids here." He said, "Why don't we see if they want to cook something and serve?" The younger they are, the more apt to want to help in some way. Somebody said when my kids get upset, we let them go to the backyard and make mud balls and draw a target on the fence and throw at the target to get out anger.

It's my teenager and my younger child. That's a great idea. For people who have outside, there's definitely advantages and it's definitely tougher for people who are in a city space to use it as much. Especially when they're already social distancing from friends, what can you do? Punch a pillow. Find a YouTube kickboxing class. A lot of kickboxing actually doesn't jump around. As long as the neighbors downstairs could find something like that and let the toddler just imitate those kind of things, that might be a fun thing to do.

Setting up your office space as we discussed earlier. Something small and quiet for you as much as you can and try to let them have a lot of space. Somebody was saying okay, keep the toys in here. If you can separate activities, maybe their school place is in one room. Their play place is in another room. Your TV place is another room and then you eat in another room so that at least they feel rather in school to have in one place. They maybe feel more structure. Whether it's your dining room or whatever room it is.

Again, it's going to really take a small apartment is really different than somebody who has a lot more room. Work around their schedules as much as possible. Because that's a win-win. If you can get them doing their schedules and then you can work around that in any way, then you're both going to be able to attend to your meetings. You're working with a team at work. You know your child has a test you have to participate. You could say, "Could we do this at three instead of two?" See how much you could do that. Limit the no's.

My big suggestion is instead of saying, "No. You can't do that." Say, "Yes, and." The first thing they hear is yes. Yes, you can watch one more TV show and afterwards, you can study in your room. They hear yes first. Yes, you can have that snack and you're going to make sure you include a nice green vegetable with your dinner. Whatever it is for you. They can hear yes and instead of no. Somebody said we use pause and revisit if it's a question to address later. For sure.

If it's something that you can't talk about, just say, "No. We're going to have to talk about this later. Let's think about it a little bit." You can't hear me say this is easy and there's an easy answer for everything because there's not. This is a tough time. That's why we started out saying think about how you're feeling. Talk as much as you can to your significant other, to your friends, to your children as much as they can hear. Saying, "This is really hard, Mommy. I'm really sad I'm going to cry now." Sharing this is hard for everybody.

The struggles are what made us stronger. If we don't stretch in the struggle, that's how mental is getting stronger. We put too much weight on them. When they lift more than they used to lifting, that's when we get stronger. I heard a really cool phrase yesterday. Instead of post traumatic stress, post traumatic growth. How are we growing from this? Look and talk to your children about it. How are we growing from this? Remember it's their house, too? We're sharing it. Just keep reminding them and yourself that it's temporary. They have a shorter life span.

If you think about their view of the world, it's so much shorter. If you think about a helicopter down, right or hovering over the ground, it just sees a little bit. That's them with their short lifespan, down towards the ground. The older you get, the higher you are in this bigger circle of what you see and what you know and your perspective is. Remember that their perspective is this because that's all the years they have to look back on. You have the bigger perspective so keep reminding them. Keep encouraging them.

We're going to get past this. We're going to be here together. I just got a great suggestion something about the four and six-year-olds. They have a worry box. When someone is worried a lot, they write it down and put it in the worry box so they can get it out of their head. That allows us to do discussions as well. I think that's really important. We also sit down and say, at least once a week what you need. What do you need from parents? What do you need from your siblings? Because they're not always going to say.

You usually have some kids that are more vocal than others. I love the worry box. Writing down a list of things that are hard. That's a great way to do it for kids so that they can know what goes in there. If they can't write, that's okay. They tell you and you write it down. Someone said when siblings argue with each other, usually it's because they are in someone else's business. I ask them where's the nose. Ask them to remember to keep up with their nose in the right place and it keeps down the argument, which is very true. They want to parent each other.

Somebody said they have calm down chant with calm boxes containing sensory items, mostly tactile. That's a great idea where they can go and be alone. If you don't have a tent, you can make a fort. All you need is a couple of chairs and a blanket. Making them go in there and be alone. Anything like Play Doh or stress balls or anything like that, they're helpful for both adults and children. That's a great idea. Start wrapping up here. Managing everyone's expectations.

You're going to have to work with your clients and your bosses and your employees and your co-workers to manage expectations. Everybody's in the same boat in terms of what we can and can't do. We're now in the same boat as to whether or not we have children at home. Some people do and some people don't. If you have children and pets at home, then just tell them. I have children and I have a dog. I'm going to manage them the best I can but just know this is going to happen. That allows them also to the humanness in you.

As much as we can, prepare for working from home and know that it will be messy. This is real life. Everybody's dealing with it. Handle the interactions with grace and humor. You don't want to scream at your kids when you're on Zoom. That's not going to look great for you. Remain professional. Mute when you need to. I know we've all seen those funny videos with people doing things particularly on camera. They forget they're on camera but when you need to and just listen. Even that ambient outside noise.

I just got a great suggestion from somebody who said swim time for toddler in bathtub is my granddaughter's favorite thing. What a fun idea. Making pizza and set out all the toppings and let her play with the dough for a while. That is a great idea. Set out a space just to take a plunge. Of course, you need these for that. If you can get those ingredients, that is a great idea. That's something fun and relatively healthy you can do with really any age of kids. For your work day, set up your work day schedule. Discuss that in the morning or before bed.

We usually have a lot of dinner discussions. Before going to bed before our kids are and then tell them right up front. "Okay. I have this at this time tomorrow and this at this time tomorrow. What do you have? Let's talk about it? How can we make this?" Again, if they're a little more, if they go right over their heads. Maybe plan it out with whatever other adults you have in the home and see how you can tag team. Again, schedule that break. Schedule that outside time. Go for a walk. Take your pet if you have one.

Put the baby in the stroller. Bundle them up if it's still cold where you are. Midday, probably mid afternoon. There's also some really good science about your circadian rhythms being helped if you get the sun on your face first thing in the morning, which is really interesting. Being outside at any point during the day is helpful. Preparing meals together. Again, healthy ideas or order out. This place that we used to go and this business and we want to support them.

We want to help them through this difficult time that we're going to order and we're going to get their herbs today. Focus on healthy snacking. This is not a free for all. They need to feel that you're still in control. Again, if they feel that you are out of control, then it's going to make them feel out of control and scared. Sop before you need to. Use that time that you are formerly commuting perhaps or taking them somewhere to do some fun things together. Just even sit and talk with all these great suggestions that we've got.

These are some great ideas. Know the end of the work day. Today, the work day is over. Now, we're going to watch a new movie on Netflix or Amazon Prime or Hulu or whatever we recorded from the night before. I'm sure you've seen a lot of great musical things out where people are trying to raise money for the Coronavirus. Helps our hospitals and whatnot, all kinds of things that weren't available to support that are free concerts basically. Limit your news to the CDC. Limit the amount of time you're talking about the virus and negative conversations.

Healthy habits include thinking which I do not by any means think that we can positive think our way out of a virus. Reframing something negative and trying to look at it in a positive way can certainly help our mental place, too. This is an opportunity that we Lord-willing will never get again. As we mentioned earlier, teaching new skills. Remember to think about people near you. Teach your children. There's somebody in the apartment next door or a couple of streets down that need something. I think most are using Nextdoor. It's an app. It's online.

You can find out people who are in need there. Okay. If you have Xfinity and say free to the remote, they show free movies and shows. That's a great idea. Somebody else that have a good cry. Get back up. Watch a sad movie and then a happy movie. That's a good idea. Great idea for children but how do I prepare my work from home? I think that's play time with the kids. I'm home alone. That's hard. My wife is at the hospital. Wow. You know what? To you who just sent this in, it is hard to work at home.

I hope that this was helpful to you in some way. There's only so much time, there's only so many hours in the day to help with the kids. Somebody said, free movies and TV streaming available through the public library. That's a great idea. Some very good resources that way. I love the sharing and the opportunities that you all were giving to each other. Remember that you want to take time for yourself. Do all the things that we talked about. Look at history. Be creative. Use technology to connect with people.

Also, if you're feeling again, struggling with this, please contact your EAP, which apparently is Beacon. Reach out to them. There's many ways to support you. Financial information, legal information, mental health, all of these things that we're struggling with, just know that you're not alone. You have lots of resources out there. We are so, so grateful for the people who are struggling with all of this. I just got a question. Can we get the presentation in an email? This is being recorded.

Since this is the weekend, I will send all of this to Beacon including the chat function. Everything that came up in the chat so that you will have that. I am hoping that Beacon will be able to send you the recording and/or the slides and/or the chat. I will save all of that and send that directly to them. You should be able to do that. I'm also going to send as much of this as I can to our Beacon representative. Hopefully, you'll be able to ... All of this, we have a record. We can see everyone who's on here. Thank you so much for attending.

I'm going to stay on for a couple of minutes in case anybody else has any other questions that they want to put it to the chat that you didn't feel were answered that possibly I can answer. I will do that. Otherwise, feel free to log off and go. Go back to whatever Zoom meeting you had and your children. Otherwise, I'm going to say thank you very much. You all were great, great responses. I learned a lot of things myself. I will stay if you have any more questions for a couple of minutes.

 

 

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