Mar 19, 2020 | By: Olivia Grey Pritchard Photography
Oh, 2020. We were rooting for you! So much promise...and now this! What a crazy past couple of weeks we've had, and we know there's more to come. For so many of us, our daily lives have really changed just in this past week. No school! Stay at home! Teach the kids! Oh, and still get work done! Woof. Those are some tall orders! Not to mention the stress and confusion all this puts on your little ones. So, I thought I'd gather a few tips to help and your family stay sane in the coming weeks.
1. Find the right balance of "just enough" news and social media exposure.
While it's definitely important to stay up on the news, so much scary information is floating around right now. That can be really overwhelming in an already overwhelming situation to parents and kids alike! Don't forget, if your kiddo has social media, check what he or she is seeing. With that being said, there are also some wonderful distractions that social media can bring us! Just yesterday I saw an article that dolphins and swans have returned to the canals in Venice and the water is so clear! So, find that balance for yourself and your little ones.
2. Connect with the people you would regularly see!
Being isolated from our loved ones can definitely create more stress in adults and children during already trying times, so use technology to fix that! While it might not be the best time to talk to grandparents in person, get a video chat going on a regular basis. It will do wonders for all involved and keep everyone safe at the same time.
3. Do the activities you and your family love to do.
Family walks, hide-and-seek or tag, capture the flag, painting or sidewalk chalk, puzzles, board games, cooking and baking...there are so many fun activities around the house to keep busy. This could also be a fun time to experiment and learn new things. An artist friend who has recently lost all of his gigs is offering online chess lessons, and so many dance studios are offering online lessons! As for mom and dad, there are tons of online/at-home yoga and other exercise classes popping up by reputable instructors. Keeping your kids' minds busy and fulfilled is one great way to reduce any anxiety they might be feeling about all this change!
4. Don't fall into the Comparison Trap.
I saw the other day that someone posted how Shakespeare wrote his masterpiece "King Lear" during a plague quarantine. WELL GOOD FOR HIM. Hahaha! No, seriously though, if you feel inspired to create something cool or new, do it! But if not, that's okay too. You do you, friend. Don't let someone else's perfectly set-up homeschool nook get you upset about what is working for you and your family. If you're stressed, your kids will feel that too. Whatever works for you is the best route to take!
5. Be open with your children.
From all of our work here with babies and children (and even pets!), we know that they pick up on way more than you'd think. They feel your stress, but on the flip-side, they feel your calmness. If your kiddo is stressed about all of this change, or maybe just has some questions about why life has changed so much, we've found here at Olivia Grey Pritchard Photography that answering honestly and truthfully is usually the best route! Of course, adjust your responses based on your little one's age group, but give them some credit with what you think they can understand. They're pretty smart little humans! And, as always, try to be a good role model for this new way of life: washing hands, exercising, staying positive. Oh, don't forget good snuggles!!
6. Take photos!
Ok, this may seem like a weird suggestion, but think about it! This is something that no one has experienced in this lifetime. In times like these, sometimes we forget to take photos. Document the activities you're doing with your family. We know, we know...as a family photographer this is not new advice coming from us! But think: this may be the most quality time you've had for a while with your loved ones! And, think about how interesting it will be for your kids to be able to look back on this experience years down the road.
Above all, stay safe out there...mentally and physically!