So things aren’t normal. Not now and not for the foreseeable future. So as a new stay at home mom (who never particularly desired to be out of the work force), how do I try to set some normalcy? I love kids, have always chosen to work with them in a professional capacity, and especially love my kids, cause well... they are mine, so one may think getting settled into a ”new normal” isn’t that difficult, WRONG.
This change is tough on all of us. My husband is now working from our smallish ranch and attempting to engage with my two young boys with minimal fun in within walking distance in a way that allows him to have relative quiet so he can have zoom meetings is tough. With my children seeming especially thrown by all of this and my innate desire to have control in such an uncertain time, my natural response was to plan a well thought out schedule. Kids crave routine and thrive on clear expectations. Enter attempt #1.
We did it! Easy peasy. I came up with the topics (because yeah, control), and my little guys helped me put them in the right order. We used out hand clothes pin to keep track of the day. Not bad! Worked well for a few weeks. My 3.5 year old seemed to enjoy moving the clip and it was relatively easy to keep on task. Until it wasn’t.
There came a time when he did not want to do my assigned “activity” or “art project” (which mind you I really enjoyed creating). And that’s when the power struggles came. After a few days of that I had to step back and ask myself why. Why was he struggling, I mean my activities were really cool, it was basically like being at school.
Except it wasn’t school. He was home, for an extended time for the first time, basically, ever and I was pushing home to be something that it wasn’t. I do think he liked the routine and predictability of it all, I think that certainly provided an element of security. However, he was lacking any control, enter the threenager power struggle.
So I went back to the drawing board (or rather my Pinterest board and Teachers Pay Teachers) and found a great link for printable images to create a visual schedule. DUH! He needs images, not words. He’s 3 and can’t read. Silly me. Let’s try this again. Here is a far more interactive method for him while also providing a sense of normalcy and routine. The bonus is that I get to pick the activities for the day meaning I get control too! Take a peak.
Here we are on day 4 of this, so far it seems to be working, but, I encourage you to check back for part 3 of this series when we discover what may or may not work for my little one.
Don’t forget that every child and family is very different and what works for me and my family may not be realistic or even worth a shot for your family. In a time like this, just do your best to stay safe and sane while adjusting to your new normal.