How to Thrive During Lockdown as a Parent

With various sources suggesting schools may be closed until September, are you wondering just how you're going to survive lockdown with your family for the next weeks and months?  But what if you could thrive rather than survive?  Here's how to make the most of lockdown as a parent.

Mind your language

First of all, let's stop the negative language being used about spending all this time with kids.  I know you're having a hard time juggling working from home, parenting and keeping on top of the school work kids have had sent home.  But please, please stop talking about how hard it is and how terrible your kids are to be around!

School closure may be a big inconvenience for you, you may have a lot to juggle and cope with, and you may not relish the prospect of all being stuck at home for the foreseeable weeks or even months to come.  But your children need your love and support now more than ever.

Please be aware of the negative words you use.  However much stress you are under, however anxious you feel, however cross being cooped up may make you, please be careful with your words.  Don't let your children feel like they are a burden or an inconvenience to you in your words or your actions.

You are the whole world to your kids, now more than ever, so keep them safe.  Show and tell them how much you love them, how much you enjoy their company, and how much you value them.

Enjoy this strange but special time together.

Make the best of it

Most parents probably haven't spent this much time with their children since they were babies or toddlers, so why not make the most of it?

Don't send them off to their rooms with a load of downloaded apps and a YouTube schedule, or a pile of worksheets.  Don't fill their day with a pseudo school at home schedule.

Instead, start some conversations about their passions and interests, spend time playing with them, have fun, do crazy things.  Make things, design, create, do chores together.

You may not be used to spending this much time together, but instead of dreading it, why not see it as a gift?

Enjoy each other's company.  Love unconditionally.  Have fun.

Stick together

Get your family working together by having a family meeting.  Set out what you all want to achieve, what problems you think might come up, and think about how can you work together to make the most of being at home together.

Prioritise your family relationships over everything else.  A lot of siblings will not be used to being together all day, so use the time to help them reconnect and have fun together.  You should try to make time for everyone to have alone time too.

Try to carve out some special time during the week for one-to-one time parent to child.  Do a special hobby together, build LEGO or play.

Your daily rhythm

Tempting as it might be to create a rigid routine for your day, it would be better for all of you to have  a looser schedule or flow.  For example, create a morning routine, then a time for school work, followed by lunch, a walk, and then some creative time for arts, crafts and other projects, followed by journalling, dinner and board games.  Include plenty of time for free play and fun too.

If you can bear a less rigid day, a simple list where you check things off as and when you do them will suit you better.  Try this fun daily schedule:

Make downtime fun with board games, gardening, baking, yoga and other activities that you can all do together.  Screen time should ideally be minimal, largely because you're too busy doing other things, not because of Draconian measures!


Plan in regular treats for your kids, things like a bath with fancy grown-up bubbles and fairy lights or a carpet picnic dinner on family film night.

Take time to sit down for meals together three times a day, cook together, teach the kids to cook.

We love our morning tea time, where we all sit down mid-morning to have tea, fruit and cakes (fancy plates required), and read a chapter from a long book or some poetry.

Indulge yourselves with this little treats to make every day feel special.

Hard as it is, this time could be the making of our families, and we'll look back in years to come as a very special time.  How can you make it special?

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