If you’re stuck in what feels like the “eternal spring break” or the movie Groundhog Day, you’re not alone. No one could’ve predicted the wake of COVID-19, but if you’re choosing (or being forced to choose) social distancing like many others, we can only hope for the best and know that we’re doing our part.
But what about our families? While we’re worrying about a global pandemic and trying to work from home and keep our house in one piece, a lot of us also have concerns about our kids falling behind in school because of this momentary break from routine. What can we do to keep our kids brains growing and our conference calls uninterrupted (somewhat…who’s thankful for mute buttons!?).
The best way to overcome this difficult time is to do what our little GORUCK community has done – band together as a family and become better for it. Oftentimes, it’s hard to see the benefit of trials in our life while you’re in the midst of them, but we have to endure weeds in your garden before flowers begin to bloom.
Here are four simple ways to take advantage of your time together but still help your families thrive:
1. Get Outside and Keep Training
We simply cannot stress enough the value of FRESH AIR during these times of isolation. Most places are getting warm enough by now that you can manage a lunchtime ruck with the family. Have a little one that also needs to nap? This is a great way to knock them out. Stop by and say hi to your neighbors (at least six feet apart) or just tell them a thing or two about rucking (no, I’m not hiking).
Family workouts are important for everyone’s health and sanity at a time like this. Teach the kids a thing or two about ruck thrusters. Check out our Ruck at Home Workouts that anyone can do at home without a fancy gym set up. Don’t forget to share your #goruckhomegym with us for a chance to win a *free Rucker.
2. Create a Routine
Routines are paramount in kids lives and it certainly wouldn’t hurt your work from schedule to learn about time blocking. Building routines into your schedule will help give your kids some predictability that can help during uncertain times.
Research has shown that family routines are one of the best ways to maintain kids’ social-emotional health. In addition to any home schooling or virtual learning guidelines given by your kids’ schools, your schedule should leave room for things like movement, quiet time, outdoor time and fun.
If you have older kids, they may want to self-direct more, but insist on including family time in their schedule — that could mean a movie, a video game or even just reading together in the same room. Personally, we’ve been doing a lot of family movie nights with popcorn and m&m’s after the kids get their schoolwork and chores done.
While making a schedule is not exactly the most “fun” thing in the world, you can make it fun by having the kids create fun lists in Paint or on a whiteboard. Teach them the satisfaction of checking things off and bonus, add some chores on there too since you’re all stuck in same house together.
3. Pick a New Skill
If your oldest has always shown an interest in cooking or baking, now is the time to teach them the reigns! Whip out your acrylic paints from college and and try your hand at a masterpiece.
4. Go Virtual (As Needed)
We are definitely virtually equipped for this time of solitude. Whether through Google Hangouts, FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, Facebook Messenger or other video apps, calls to friends and family are a much-needed social connection, both for you and your kids.
Chances are your school-age kids are doing distance learning and have mastered the art of video calls by now. Maybe you and your kids are out of the honeymoon phase for virtual calls and feeling a little overwhelmed or fatigued by them at this point. The good news is that there are still tons of other online resources for kids that are positive.
Since the kids are out of school, consider some virtual field trip options. There are tons of tours on YouTube that will take you anywhere from Harry Potter World at Universal Studios to swimming with dolphins to touring the Louvre! Online yoga is another great way to clear your head and move your body (check out Yoga with Adrienne or CosmicKids Yoga). If you have artsy kids, they can learn the piano or sharpen their drawing skills (Art for Kids Hub or Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems).
As crazy as life is right now being “quarantined,” there are some moments with your kids, spouse/significant other that you won’t ever forget. Remember, even in the midst of all this awfulness, you are making memories! Once our stay-home orders are lifted and life goes back to normal, we’ll be happy to ruck again with lots and lots and lots of friends. But I’ll be damned if we don’t come out of this being kinder, more grateful, more understanding and more appreciative of the beauty of life and humanity than ever before. And together we will rebuild the world.
*One winner will be chosen each week while lock down is in effect.