The end of the school year is upon us. We made it through. Or did we? Usually this time of year we’re looking forward to summer fun: days for slowing down, get togethers with friends and family, camp adventures, time off, the general vacation daze ahead. But while businesses begin to reopen and life slowly returns to some semblance of “normal,” as a working parent, normal still feels a long way off.
As the Health and Wellness Educator, I’ve been part of many conversations about how to best support children’s mental health during this difficult time. Parents, caregivers, and even educators are desperate for tips to meet the social and emotional needs of their children, who are missing their friends, teachers, extended families, and everyday freedoms. I’d like to provide an objective view on some of the tips and resources so many organizations have been sharing to help support children’s well-being during the pandemic.
When you’re working from home with kids, it’s hard to separate work life and family life. I entered into this new social construct with all the optimism I could muster, for which I blame my midwestern roots. I give myself a gold star for having a mindful approach to this new unknown. My daughter and I made a schedule and brainstormed activity ideas, but unfortunately, the reality isn’t matching up to our initial sunny outlook. If you, too, are working remotely with your kids as your new coworkers, maybe you can relate.
With all this sudden change heavy on my mind, this weekend I tried to figure out how I will actually work from home with the kids at home. This is unchartered territory, but I work at a children’s museum, I have expert resources a text/phone call/email away — it can’t be too hard, right? (Insert my new favorite emoji here.) There are tons of resources for activities to do with kids – Pinterest, Instagram, the Museum’s website (hint, hint!) and while all that is great, how do I get my work done while entertaining the kids and mining these resources for fresh activities? Here’s my plan so far: