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Young girl cooking

COVID 19 has had a significant impact on our daily lives. Children are now at home all day and night, and parents may feel overwhelmed with how to keep them engaged. The following are seven suggestions to help create structure and purpose.

Have your kids make a consistent schedule for each day.

Maintaining a schedule helps kids keep structure in their lives and gives them a sense of purpose. With the loss of school day and social interaction, kids may have a sense of time slipping by.

Teach them life skills.

Take this opportunity to teach your kids skills they can use for the rest of their lives. If you are working at home, you may be limited in the amount of time you have for these suggestions, so choose a couple and incorporate them in your family routine.

  • Do laundry
  • Wash dishes
  • Change a tire
  • Manage money
  • Build
  • Clean house
  • Make soap and candles
  • Bake
  • Cook
  • Can foods
  • Garden
  • Other life skills

Have discussions with children.

Before COVID-19, many families were communicating with each other through texts rather than with verbal conversations. Take advantage of this time to engage in true verbal connections with your kids, families, and friends. Discover your kids’ thoughts, interests, and feelings. This will help develop skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

Find educational opportunities on the Internet.

There are many online opportunities to learn. Follow the Alabama Human Sciences Extension Facebook page to discover learning activities for all ages. Encourage your kids to explore YouTube for learning opportunities on subjects that interest them. Other educational information is available on the Alabama Extension website, www.aces.edu.

Encourage kids to think of ways to help others.

Encourage your kids to use this time to help others. Kids can do volunteer work while maintaining social distancing. They can mow grass for older people, do other yard work, make phone calls, and write letters. Ask your kids to think of creative ideas to help others while maintaining social distancing. Also, encourage them to make a list of ways they can help others when the pandemic is over.

Help your kids find a purpose.

By encouraging your kids to see that they can make a difference in the world, you help them change their whole perspective and discover a passion for their lives. This will vary depending on a child’s age, but all can have a purpose and can make a difference. Encourage teens to look online and complete interest surveys on sites such as MyNextMove.org and onetonline.org.

Encourage journaling.

This time in our lives will be recorded in history. The next generation will read about it in history books. Encourage family members to write their own account of the current events to create a written record from each person’s perspective. These can be shared with future generations.

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