My 10 Novel, and Not So Novel, Tips for SUCCESSFUL Self Distancing (survival)

LOCK UP THE PANTRY: Yup, you read that right. If your children are anything like mine, they are always hungry. And on chaotic days with no real rhyme or reason, they tend to be even hungrier. I will find little hoard piles of food throughout my house and wrappers hidden in couch cushions. It makes me crazy. Remove the impulse and lock the food up unless it’s meal time.

GET OUTSIDE: Go for a walk. Hunt for rocks or leaves. Set up a trampoline or a water table. Go for a drive and play iSpy. Drive and see a train or watch cows. Find a deserted beach or park. Do whatever you can to get our of your house. You need air and sun and open spaces.

MOVE AROUND: This one is huge and very important. I learned this one after being isolated in my home for five years. Set up a movie screen and projector in your backyard or basement. Have a picnic on the patio or living room floor. Whatever you do, do not spend your whole day sitting in your living room. Moving to a different space in your house will help you feel like time is actually moving.

BRING OUT THE TOYS YOU HATE: I am talking slime, playdough, sensory buckets, shaving cream and finger painting. These are the activities that your kids really love but you hate to clean up. Your kids will love you for it.

HAVE A SCHEDULE: I am not a schedule mom. I want to be clear about that. I come from the belief that kids should go outside and play and come back at dinner time. But, well, that can’t happen right now. And my two boys appear to be spiraling with all of the free time. They don’t know how to handle it. Setting even a simple schedule is huge. Make it visual so they can see it. Go over it together.

KEEP CORE ACTIVITES CONSISTENT: Meal time, bed time, bathing, getting up and getting dressed. When we are on ‘vacation’ we tend to get all willy nilly with our time. Before we know it we are eating breakfast at 10:30 and not wearing pants at noon. It’s not good. We are creatures of habit in this house. Jamie and I are trying very hard to keep our core things consistent. Meal times, bed times, getting dressed, brushing teeth. Those sorts of things.

TURN THE TECHNOLGY OFF: Technology is great. I know that. You know that. And with Jamie and I both working full-time we definitely need to rely on technology for our kids. But at some point, we have to turn it off and have a dance party or do a puzzle. We can’t turn into mounds of Jello.

CHORES ARE GOOD: Our kids typically have minimal chores…but during periods of real isolation, we implement them more. Cooper enjoys emptying the dishwasher and it keeps him busy for 30 minutes. He is also learning too! Sawyer enjoys feeding the dog and taking the garbage out.

HAVE A KID-FREE ZONE: This one may sound ridiculous but I feel like it’s really saved me over the years. We have a keypad lock on our bedroom door for a few different reasons. One is so our bed doesn’t get stripped and our bathroom cupboards don’t get emptied and used as a hide-and-seek spot. The other reason is to keep it as a safe, clean, quiet space. When Jamie or I really need a moment, like desperately need one, we go in and shut the door and relax for five minutes. It’s been a life changer.

GRACE IS IMPORTANT TOO: This is an unprecedented time. It feels like we have no control over our lives. Remember we are all figuring this stuff out and there is no guide of how to do this. We are all fighting with our spouses about whose conference call is more important and trying to think of ways to keep our kids busy. Let’s get through this and possibly even try and make the best of it.

Good luck friends!

Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook, subscribe for exclusive videos, and subscribe to our newsletter.

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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