With the COVID-19 virus causing issues for people across the globe, many of us have been forced to stay inside for much longer periods than we would normally. Particularly for parents of younger children, this can be quite challenging. As much as we love our little ones, there’s no doubt that they can be messy and create more work for you, as well as often requiring entertainment every waking hour.
One of the ways to help keep your workload at a minimum is to make sure you maintain a routine despite being in lockdown. It’s easy to find yourself slipping, letting yourself and the children stay up late and get up late, or even nap in the middle of the day. Routines are really effective for maintaining a little normality and structure to your day, whilst also teaching children the organisational skills they’ll need in adult life. So, to help you keep your daily life filled with energy and productivity, here are some tips to consider.
Lead by Example
Firstly, when trying to instill children with a sense of routine and responsibility, leading by example is absolutely key. We all know that children are copycats and regardless of what you say, they are likely to emulate the behavior that you display. With this in mind, it’s important to adopt a routine which aligns with the one you want your children to take up; join them in their daily activities! Brush your teeth together, do household chores together, and generally follow the structure that you want them to follow.
This approach allows you to guide, comfort, and praise your child whilst they are completing their tasks, serving as a safe and secure base if they are ever unsure about doing something. Additionally, it helps form habits more easily and quickly – not to mention the memories you can make along the way.
Introduce Everyday Fundamentals
Every family has everyday activities that need to be completed. One of the best ways to get that routine embedded is to select one of these daily necessities – outside of standard hygiene tasks – and make a point of doing it together at the same time, every day. This can be anything from cleaning and housework to making the bed or playing in the garden. Muslim families often pray together. In Islam, worship has to occur each day and various times, depending on where you are in the world. So a London family would use a prayer timetable for London, whilst a family in the United States would use one for their own town. This inherent structure to the day is extremely effective and creating a distinctive routine which is difficult to break out of and ensures you’re still productive in lockdown.
Get Some Sleep!
Finally, and arguably most importantly, get some proper sleep! Staying up late is one of the best ways to ruin any routine, whether it’s your own or for your children. Tiredness is the single biggest blocker when it comes to learning new things, embedding knowledge, and generating habits. If your children are too sleepy to absorb the routine you are trying to teach, it will never stick.
On top of this, lack of sleep will make you tired earlier in the day, tempting you to sleep before you’re meant to or in the worst–case scenario, you get a second wind and end up sleeping late again – perpetuating the problem. Make sure everyone gets a good night’s sleep and you’re sure to find creating those positive habits even easier.
These three tips are a great starting point if you’re struggling to keep your routine in place during the COVID-19 lockdown, though every family is different so don’t be afraid to experiment. Good luck and stay safe during these uncertain times.