This unprecedented situation is forcing us to get organized and I personally took a full weekend  to figure out what our days, as a family of five (stuck in an apartment with, fortunately, a balcony!) will look like.

I – an unprecedented and exceptional situation

There’s no doubt this situation will be tough for many families on a daily basis in places where space seems already tight all year long. Parents/children and brothers/sisters lack of privacy is going to be all the more harder to deal with since our homes have transformed into open spaces and classrooms. As I wrote in my article about working from home with children, simple rules need to be followed, the situation needs to be addressed, and couples need to stick together. Hats off to all isolated parents who I admire greatly.

II – The need to get organized and plan things out

In short, the C.O.G. plan is activated: Communication, Organization and Goodwill are the necessary ingredients to get through such a situation which, when we think about it, brings us closer to what’s essential: family.

As I’m working from home with my husband and our three boys (the eldest being 7 and the twins 2), I have prepared a schedule for the next few days so that we don’t have to think about things for the kids to do all day long, on top of work. So, let me share with you all what we’re gonna have our kids do. This schedule may seem a little hectic and even scary! But it’s just an example and flexibility is paramount. I am a fan of planning and organization, but it is not the case for everyone. So, take whatever you might use, and throw away the rest if you are someone who runs on intentions and doesn’t like to make plans. We’re all different. You’ll see that the days are split into lots of timeslots. The thing is that it’s very difficult for kids those ages to focus on one activity for a sustained period of time, hence lots of 30-minute slots.

III – how to use our schedule

  • It is a full-day outline but it doesn’t have to be followed to the letter (flexibility and adaptation). Talk about it with your child and get their opinion.
  • Online links will allow you to go straight to the activities.
  • Print it out for schoolchildren who will take responsibility.
  • Do what you can with 6-year-olds who may give up activities quickly (it’s normal).
  • You must take 5 minutes every time to explain to the child what they are going to do. Keeping an eye on them is best, except when they’re free playing in their room.
  • Your kids will need you on the first few days when starting activities and become more and more autonomous as they go.

IV – the ideal time to discover new activities and develop your kids’ soft skills

For the older kids, there’s obviously the homework set by the teacher, but also activities that will help them develop their soft skills (21st century skills) which we hold dear at Soft Kids.

So, with Colori, your kids will improve their logical skills, they will learn to manage their emotions with some meditation and Petit Bambou, and finally, they will develop their creativity with Plume. It’s time to discover new things and start new activities!

V – one last for the road

One very important rule: if your child comes to you and says they’re bored, it is because they need attention. If you aren’t on a phone meeting, take a break and spend 5 minutes with them (to read a story, talk, play cards, etc.). Very often, 5 minutes of attention from a parent is enough for the child to be satisfied and go back to their activities, and it’s much more effective than saying, “Yes, I’ll be there in 5 minutes.”

Finally, if the situation is desperate, go get the “I’m Bored” box.

We wish you lots of luck for the days to come and don’t forget that we’re lucky to be home with our kids, with food and an internet connection so we can stay in touch with the rest of the world!

Solenne

Fondatrice de Soft Kids.

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