For a lot of us, our children will be going back to schools, kindergartens, and daycares from next week, but a lot of us have either taken conscious calls or are from different countries – where the entire family will continue to co-exist together at home. It’s not easy when you are juggling so many responsibilities at the same time.
Today on the blog we have a happiness coach and a proud mom, Deepanjali Sapkota who talks about mindfulness and parenting techniques that really worked out for her. Without further ado, let’s delve into all her suggestions.
A lot of parents at my workplace shared honest reflections of their life in the past few weeks – they felt like a juggler (and not the best one) but with many balls in the air, playing the roles of a teacher, a cleaner, a worker, an entertainer, and a baby sitter.
Here are some of the things that worked:
Create a structured daily routine
This helps in being efficient, provides a logical sequence to both parents and kids, saves time, reduces screaming/shouting, and facilitates order.
- Make a family schedule together: Wake up time, shower, breakfast, getting dressed up in fun ways
- Take responsibility and stick by them – A great way to set an example, having a chore chart and earning points really help. The chores could be assigned with a dice roll or could be based on abilities and go through a rotation every week.
- “Pick Up” time – Assign 15 minutes every day for a “tidy up”, everyone takes charge of their own rooms/workspaces.
- Involve children while reorganizing – desk area, kids play area, spaces for art, their toys, etc.
Practice mindful breaks to assess your situation by bringing awareness to your own state (how am I feeling? Am I stressed or overwhelmed or okay?) breath in and breathe out (BIBO) to calm down, look around your environment (work, children, partner, home) notice what you see, smell, feel and observe as your system settles down. Ideas will pop up automatically, if they don’t, keep practicing this technique.
Working parents all over are discovering new eating habits of their children such as the number of times they eat and how much they eat.
- Eat as per the scheduled time.
- Experient with Mindful Eating
- Prepare and cook together with your kids, it is a proven fact that they love it. They learn practical skills such as strategic thinking while planning a menu, math lessons when measuring, and timing.
- Online ordering of groceries could be a handy tip during this time.
- Communicate, communicate communicate – let your supervisor know about your situation especially if you are finding this hard. Set up regular catch-ups to discuss deliverables, priorities, and build a connection on a personal level.
- If you absolutely need to “parent” during your meeting hour(s), seek help from your elder one, your partner, or even ask for virtual help from grandparents while they read the kids out a story.
- Some meetings could be taken while taking a short walk outside or while standing in the balcony.
- Video conferencing allows seeings colleagues and maintains a sense of community. So switch that camera on….get comfortable with it.
- The usual work schedule might not work for you, adjust, and evolve according to your personal situation.
- Saying NO is an art, and saying YES is a tendency, get rid of the tendency.
- If you need to escalate, reach out to human resources, this is an extraordinary time.
- Assign a child to be “family trainer” to run workouts that basically help everyone detox.
- Board/online games could be particularly handy
- Draw your “emotions” – this could be a game that goes deeper in the form of art therapy and allows you to communicate your state easily.
Mental health, coping, and support
- Time to practice selective listening of “news”. I am assuming, by now you know, excessive corona news will not help you calm down
- When you do a search next time, type out “mindfulness for kids” and try some of those things out.
- Look at more positive affirmations, like all those inspiring quotes and articles you see on your FB/Insta feeds.
- During dinner, have each family member talk about one good thing that happened to them during the day. Take the time, to count your blessings.
- Take it one day at a time, be kind to yourself. It’s time to get rid of self-doubt and constant judgment.
- Look at the whole experience with a positive lens – practice gratitude, acknowledge your emotions, and all the time you now have.
- This is a great time to reconnect with your kids and your partner; do the things that you have longed for, do them together.
- Take time to check-in with each other at the end of each day, it could be just 15 minutes.
- Children sense your moods and emotions, take the time to articulate what you might be going through in words that make sense to them. Emotional competence is a great skill for adults and children.
Deepanjali Sapkota is a mother, change agent, unshakable optimist, living in Switzerland for more than 21 years. She loves to share her passion for Mindfulness. She has integrated her passion by introducing Mindfulness into her work place as well.
Stay tuned for more resources, we have some great content lined up with experts in various fields – marketing gurus, coaches, wellness experts, chefs, and teachers to get you through this tough time. Stay safe and healthy! Make the most of your quarantine with My Swiss Story.
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