We all know the expression work-life balance but what does that mean when our work and our life are no longer separate? Having balance for both kids and adults has never been as important as it is now.
So what does balance look, feel, and sound like based upon our current situation?
Children crave structure and continuity. Create an environment that allows them to feel successful with time for work and play in a balanced manner.
Organize a household meeting to set expectations ahead of time. Many elementary school classrooms hold morning meetings. This can help you and your children set the tone for the day, highlight any important happenings, and establish goals for work and play.
It’s hard for adults to sit and work all day without taking breaks, this is even more true for our children! Create a daily plan that includes time for both work and play. Older children will likely have a more specific schedule to adhere to as teachers begin to transition to remote instruction. You might use their “work” schedule as a guide for younger children in the home, maximizing the time spent together for “play”.
If your child's school has not provided a schedule for remote learning, you can establish a schedule with choices instead. For example, instead of “free time” you might list options to choose from such as board games, puzzles, or drawing. This will give your kids a break from screen time, which they will likely be engaged in while learning.
Get moving! Include breaks for movement in your daily schedule. This might range standing up and stretching every hour to including “outdoor recess” in the daily schedule for all household members.
Make sure you are taking time for yourself, even if it is a few moments.
Assess at the end of each day how well your family was able to balance, and set goals for the next day.
Remember this is an adjustment and takes time!