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How to Manage a Family Stuck at Home

It's easy to become overwhelmed with the whole family stuck inside 24/7.

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Here are a few ways to keep everyone happy and healthy.

Keep a structured schedule

Your normal schedule may be out the window, but it's crucial to create a new one for a stay-at-home family. Try and stick to a consistent wake up time, eat breakfast together, and set expectations for the day. It's also important to keep a nighttime routine as well. Keep bedtimes in place, have family dinners around the same time, and end the day with a moment of gratitude.

Invite young children to join your daytime breaks

Do you find yourself stepping away from work for 5-10 minutes throughout the day? Take the opportunity to invite your kids to join you during these short breaks. Practice physical activity like stretching or jogging in place, or keep spirits high by singing along to a favorite song.

Provide a sense of ownership to each child

To ensure your children don't run the home astray, provide opportunities for each child to own a task. Work with your children to create to-do list they can handle, and let them mark off each completed task. Older children should still be completing chores and actively participating in their assigned school work.

Establish personal time and space for everyone

Make sure your teenager isn't expected to entertain the preschooler all day, and allow older children to spend personal time away from everyone else. This is especially important while they attempt to juggle remote school work. Use nap time to enjoy a few moments of silence yourself or with your partner.

Set expectations for each day and reward good behavior

Each night, sit down collectively and discuss how the day went and decide what the next day should look like. Assign tasks to each family member and provide praise to those who accomplished a good day. Most young children are held to a point system while in school to encourage good behavior—mirror this and set up your own version at home. This will provide a visual representation of how your child(ren) behaved for the day.

Keep, or create new, family traditions

Family movie nights, game nights, taco Tuesday, and the like are great ways to build excitement during these trying times. If it's safe, walk the family dog together and make time to play outside for an hour or so. Physical activity has never been more important, so don’t forget to encourage movement throughout the day.