Eight Ideas for Solo-parenting Time With Children in Quarantine
Even with over 71% of companies allowing full-time remote work for employees with child care needs, it’s been a challenging experience for any parent to figure out how to keep children entertained, engaged and happy during a global pandemic. It’s even more challenging when you include a divorce and the tasks that follow including finding a divorce lawyer, dealing with emotions, parenting time, and more. As you embark upon the task of solo-parenting, consider some of the best ways to keep your children engaged with healthy activities.
1. Provide Downtime
Whether you’re in the process of meeting with a family lawyer or you’re in need of a quiet moment to yourself, it’s okay to schedule downtime for the family. During this time, your children can all go to their rooms for a nap. Even if they don’t take a nap, it’s at least 30 minutes when they’re required to be quiet and still. If they choose to read a book until they fall asleep, that’s fine. For little ones who still need a nap, it’s the perfect way to allow them to recharge themselves. It also gives you a chance to take a break for anything you want to do.
2. Allow Scheduled Screen Time During Parenting Time
If you’re opposed to allowing your children to enjoy screen time, that’s perfectly fine. Go with your convictions. However, it’s okay to give yourself grace and allow your children to spend time in front of the television or the tablet. The key is to monitor how much time they’re spending in front of the television. If they’re binge-watching multiple shows in one day, that’s probably too much television consumption. However, it’s okay to allow them to enjoy their favorite video games or television shows for an hour or two a day. It’s a chance for you to catch your breath, get caught up with tasks and know that your children are having a great time while you’re preoccupied.
3. Set Up a Picnic
After talking with a family law attorney, it’s not uncommon to feel like you need something more jovial to pick up your spirits. In this case, take your children out for a fun picnic. Find a local park with an open field. Make sure that you all go during a time when it’s the least crowded. You can pack sandwiches, easy snacks and toys for everyone to enjoy outside. Make it interesting by allowing your children to come up with the menu. Invite them to help you prepare the meals.
4. Take Daily Walks
When you’re in the throes of finding a family lawyer and working through a complicated divorce process, it’s important to find some continuity for your family. After all, this is a traumatic experience for any family to go through. If you all can create some new rhythms and routines, that will help the other family members feel a sense of security. As the weather permits, consider taking the family for an evening walk each day. A 2-mile walk isn’t very far or hard for children to do. If you have a toddler, you can always push them in the stroller. After dinner, it’s a nice way to get some fresh air, enjoy each other’s company and get some steps in before bedtime.
5. Set Up Movie Nights
When you’re going through a divorce, diversions are essential. They’ll help you and your children remain strong throughout the process. After a meeting with the divorce lawyer, schedule a diversion. A great option is the classic movie night. During this time of quarantine, you all can choose one specific night that’s designated as the movie night. Whether that’s Friday night or Saturday night, make it a tradition that everyone looks forward to. Include delicious food like pizza, fries and chocolate chip cookies. You all can choose to watch classic cartoons or juicy romantic comedies.
6. Incorporate Interesting Art Projects
If you know that you’ll need to meet with a divorce attorney, you might experience some anxiety as the moments get closer. When you’re dealing with your own emotions, children and your upcoming meeting with a family law attorney, try scheduling an art project a few hours before the meeting. Art can be a very therapeutic experience for everyone involved. The cool part about art is that no one can judge it. If you want to set up easels for everyone to enjoy watercolor paints, turn on some music and give everyone aprons to set the mood. If your children love to color, purchase a few coloring books so that everyone, including you, can have fun during parenting time before a potentially stressful meeting.
7. Enroll in Virtual Classes
A lot of people in various industries have been impacted by COVID-19. This includes teachers of extracurricular activities. There are plenty of teachers who are looking for work during the summer. As a result, they offer private lessons. If you’d like for your children to learn a specific instrument, they can still hold private lessons online.
If you want your child to join the track team, there are physical education teachers who are still holding track lessons and physical fitness camps in order to keep the children in shape. It doesn’t matter if a teacher is located in California, New Hampshire or Illinois because the classes are completely virtual. Sign your child up for the lessons that intrigue them the most. This will give you some time to take care of your own priorities as another adult engages their attention.
8. Enjoy an Exercise Routine During and Outside of Parenting Time
Even though there are tons of people who count calories and do their best to avoid adding unwanted pounds, know that it’s still important for your children to remain active as well. Granted, they probably won’t have the same approach to exercise as an adult who’s looking to lose weight, but they need physical activity to remain healthy. If they want to maintain strong bodies and healthy hearts, cardiovascular activity is necessary for a daily routine. Plus, it’s harder to be active when everyone is forced to remain cooped up inside the house.
This is why it’s best to become creative with your approach to fitness. See if there are some cardio dance classes for children on sites like YouTube. Plenty of apps teach children how to learn different dances. If you have a yard, let the children outside to jump rope, play catch or play in an inflatable swimming pool. Try to make sure the children get at least an hour of dedicated physical exercise every day. Dancing, hopscotch and soccer are excellent options. It might be best to avoid playgrounds and pools where there’s a chance of contact with others who might be asymptomatic.
As you juggle the tasks of keeping your children busy during parenting time with remaining efficient in your divorce proceedings, your legal advocate plays a major role in how successful you’ll be. If you’re in the Redbanks or Watchung, New Jersey, area and you’re looking for a divorce attorney to help you navigate the process, Lawrence Law Firm provides services in divorce and family law. For more information on how we can help you, contact us today via our website or by phone at (908) 645-1000.