COVID-19 may feel like an obstacle, but it’s presented a rare opportunity for parents to connect in meaningful ways with their kids. Instead of fretting that everyone’s at home, practically 24/7, take pleasure in the opportunity to spend more important moments with your children. At the same time, begin to think about ways you can use the reality of the pandemic to build stronger bonds with your youngsters.
Of course, you may not be a teacher by trade. Nevertheless, you have the ability to share plenty. Incorporate the following useful learning experiences into your everyday life. Be aware that you’ll probably give yourself an education in the process.
Teach Your Children How to Care for Their Mental Health
The coronavirus has turned everything upside down. Even if your children seem to be handling everything perfectly, you can be sure that they’re feeling some levels of stress. Help them explore healthy and safe ways of reducing anxiety through meditation and yoga.
You needn’t be a yogi in order to practice some yoga poses with your toddlers, elementary-age kids, middle schoolers, or teens. Go to a yoga YouTube channel or download a meditation app. Then, follow along as a family.
You may just find that there are widespread benefits of meditation for parenting beyond teaching your kids how to calm their minds. You’ll feel less worried and be more patient, which is crucial when you’re quarantined with a brood of energetic kiddos!
Get Outside for Some Environmental Discussions
No, your children aren’t in a traditional classroom right now. But if a local park or hiking trail is open nearby, use nature as your wide, open class space. Spend time not just improving your health with some exercise, but talking about ways to be kinder to the earth in general.
It’s easier to bring up topics such as the fact that as of four years ago, America extracted more natural gas annually than any other country in the world. In fact, the U.S. extracted almost 750 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2016. Many environmental scientists worry about the effect that pulling natural gas from the ground can have on the ecosystem. When you’re in green spaces, you can touch upon these types of subjects and have robust debates about alternative energy sources such as wind and turbines.
Race Each Other Down the Wiki Rabbit Trails
You say you want to dive into history with your middle school or older kids? Pick a topic, such as the founding of the United States. Then, ask each child to find out some interesting facts, such as that the Constitution was written more than 200 years ago, or that many of the Founding Fathers couldn’t stand each other.
You could take this lesson a step further by asking your kids to present their findings as mini-lectures or even mock podcasts. Have fun unearthing tidbits you forgot or perhaps never knew. Although Wikipedia isn’t useful as a source for academic papers, it makes an outstanding springboard for lively conversations and intriguing concepts.
Welcome Your Kids Into the Kitchen
Your whole family should be comfortable in the kitchen, of course. However, use the kitchen as a learning environment. Ask your kids to help you do everything from meal plan and prep to make dinners and desserts.
Being comfortable in the kitchen doesn’t always come naturally to people. Take your time and help your kids try new foods and cooking techniques. Challenge them to find recipes online that use foods that you can easily buy at your local grocer. Then, work side by side to create culinary masterpieces — or at least interesting dishes.
Make sure you show youngsters the proper way to handle food for health and safety. For instance, only touch raw meat with a utensil once before thoroughly cleaning the utensil. And never allow raw meat to touch other items that are to be eaten.
It’s time to take the mystery out of making meals. Why raise a kid who will end up only being able to microwave Ramen noodles after leaving the nest? Instead, use COVID-19 togetherness as a chance to help your youngster grow into a competent, confident cook.
Talk About Alternative Healthcare Methods
The topic of health has been on people’s minds during the pandemic. This makes right now a great time to sit down and discuss all the different ways that we can take care of ourselves. For example, alternative medicine has become so mainstream that acupuncture is recognized by the World Health Organization as a viable treatment for myriad conditions and side effects.
What are some other alternative medical solutions we should all know about? How about chiropractic care, or homeopathy? Maybe your family has begun to think about naturopathy or Eastern medicines. Be open to talking about the various ways that we can all take charge of our health.
This doesn’t mean you need to put a negative spin on classic Western medicine. Almost any safe health approach can work depending on the individual. The more your child realizes that there are different ways to deal with different health issues, the more he or she is likely to become a creative problem-solver.
Use the Occasion to Have a Conversation About Coins
Kids used to regularly receive weekly allowances in exchange for performing chores. Nowadays, many parents have moved out of this type of transaction. Nonetheless, it might be something worth considering.
The news is filled with talk about economics and money. With items like the Family Farmer Relief Act, which became legal in 2019, the year before coronavirus hit Europe and North America, now is the ideal time to make talking about finances okay rather than taboo.
You don’t have to go into a lot of detail about things like bitcoin or exchange rates. But you should start to get your kids to think about saving versus spending. Many children don’t really understand the concept of how money works in the real world. Depending upon the age of your kids, you may want to go into stocks, portfolios, investments, and taxes. These are highly useful facts to know about and may help your child stay healthier fiscally for life.
Make Every Moment Teachable
Sure, it’s tough to be stuck with your family all day, every day. It’s also a gift that you might look back on with fondness if you see it in a positive light. Become the best teacher your kiddos ever had by helping them grow up and learn, even if their regular schools have shut down for the season.