SAH? WFH? HBL? That’s right, it’s #circuitbreaker season and if you are familiar with these acronyms, you're either a teacher or a parent. While the prospect of spending an entire month (and possibly more) with your progeny might daunt you, we’ve turned to some of our favourite parents for suggestions and advice. Here are five tips that will help you form a bond, retain your sanity, and keep your kids occupied.
1. Alternate caregivers so that each of you have “me-time” for self care
Don’t neglect your mental health during this period! Doranne from @themerriedlife practices self-care in two ways: alternating care for her son Lucas with her husband, and giving themselves something to look forward to every night after he sleeps.
“We usually don’t watch TV as I don’t like Lucas to get any screen time and we used to drink wine only on weekends. However, in times like this, we will give ourselves a break from these (rules) as I think it’s essential for our mental health!”
#KlookTip: Looking for some Netflix suggestions? Here are 11 shows that will help you travel the world from your home. May we all have wine glasses like Jules from Cougar Town.
2. Create a timetable
You might have seen the words “strange”, “uncertain” and “unprecedented” bandied about to describe our current reality. All of the above are true and children, in particular, thrive on routine.
To help them and yourselves, @TheWackyDuo recommends being prepared by creating a timetable that also includes time for relaxation and play, and setting up a proper workstation for kids to do HBL (that’s home-based learning for you).
#KlookTip: No need for trips to Toys”R”Us, check out what his kids made with some creativity and toilet rolls here.
Similarly echoed by Qiu Ting of @bongqiuqiu, she plays teacher-Qiu with her children, sticking to a schedule as close to school as possible. Here’s a quick look at her timetable, “10am exercise and stretching, followed by learning, sing and dance. Then we'd have lunch, and then at late noon we'd do some hands-on art and craft work and finally outdoor play. Anything that keeps the kids happy and active and let them release their energy!”
3. Exercise together
Pretty sound advice from Kelvin of @cheekiemonkies we’d say.
“There can only be that many YouTube videos one can watch or video games one can play, I would prioritise exercising together with your children as a way to keep them entertained! Got a Nintendo Switch? You can use that to exercise together! Otherwise there are tons of YouTube workout videos online to follow.”
Done exercising for the day? Here are more free activities to do compiled by Kelvin for your family.
4. Turn household chores into play
There’s nothing like starting a little friendly competition between your kids when it comes to household chores. An added bonus - you get to sip tea and supervise. If you’re more of a lead by action person, we’d suggest cooking together. Not only can you impart an essential life skill to your kids, who knows, you might end up with a future chef on your hands.
This easy starter kit available on Klook comes with ingredients sufficient for a family of 4 and recipes for a Creamy Mushroom 'Ravioli' with Tomato Sauce and an upside-down pineapple cake. Yums!
5. Don’t be afraid to discuss the Coronavirus
With HBL implemented, most children would have already heard about the virus so parents shouldn’t avoid talking about the situation. Qiu Ting of @bongqiuqiu suggests explaining and updating them daily not only about the situation in Singapore, but also worldwide so that they understand why they need to stay home and will not complain about it.
Look at the conversation as an opportunity to convey the facts and set the emotional tone. Your goal is to help your children feel informed and get fact-based information that is likely more reassuring than whatever they’re hearing from their friends or on the news.
Klook's #Stayhome Survival Guide
We know staying home isn't easy but it's the least we can do to help #flattenthecurve! We've got a survival guide to keep you entertained, well fed and also to satisfy your wanderlust.