Thomas Jefferson once said, “The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family.”
At the moment, it feels like we have been quarantined at home for an eternity. With more people in the household, the more stressful and overwhelming it can seem. But I am certain you will recognize what a gift this has been once we have finished the necessary confinement period. This global pause can be leveraged for so much good and growth. I urge you not to let it go to waste. Take advantage of this time at home with your family to help your children develop skills that will benefit them long after the quarantine. There are a variety of things that can be taught during this time to foster independence, growth, and self-confidence.
For example, it is a perfect opportunity to encourage participation in household responsibilities like laundry, cleaning, organizing, and meal preparation.
- Cooking and involvement in the kitchen is a wonderful chance for learning. A younger child can help or be responsible for making a part of a meal. An older child could take over making the whole meal and learn about the pacing of preparation. Use this time to teach children about making healthy food choices or reading nutrition labels!
- Laundry skills can start with folding and putting away their clothes. You can even involve your kids in helping to use the washer and dryer, teaching them about fabrics, color dyes, detergents, and the function of the machines.
- Room cleaning can be as simple as making the bed each day or scheduling a weekly activity of tidying up their personal space.
- With all of the virtual education going on, it is also a great time to help teach kids about staying organized, maintaining a schedule, and keeping a calendar – be it digital or paper.
- I recall that Anne Frank spent 25 months in an attic room, writing her diary. What a meaningful story to share with your children and perhaps inspire them to keep a journal of their feelings and experiences during this unprecedented time. This can teach them about self-reflection, record keeping, and creativity.
- You can also use this time to teach your children about money mindfulness and introduce them to concepts such as the value of money, saving, budgeting, and goal setting. HTG can provide books and resources for parents and children that will enhance their early understanding of financial responsibility and independence. Some relevant blog posts include:
Don’t know where to begin? Host a family meeting to determine together what areas you want to focus on. Explain to your child(ren) how this is a valuable time to take on a new skill or responsibility and get them involved in the conversation. What piques their interest? Select one or two areas to concentrate on for a series of weeks. Make learning fun, but allow for some mistakes to be made. It is all part of the process! Remember to praise and encourage along the way! You will look back and appreciate this unique time with your children and the meaningful lessons learned.