Parenting In The Time Of COVID-19: How To Keep Your Child Busy
A thought that is racing through the minds of all moms who are dealing with schools and classes being shut is, how long will this last? While many are tearing their hair out, I am grateful to myself and my spouse ( after a lot of persuasions) for having taken the decision to not have another child after my firstborn six years ago. I probably knew my limits and to what extent I could manage, being a working professional with an experience of more than 15 years. So here I am reaping the benefits of having to manage just one kid in these trying circumstances. This thought had not occurred to me before the lockdown.
Also, resources are limited so we are happy with one set of each activity material.
I have been getting my son to do a lot of activities on the pretext that it is “extracurricular school assignment” and initially he obliged because teachers are gods. Well to be more precise, goddesses in my case.
However, the father and son put two and two together and realised that all those extra interesting activities were not from school, but from one’s very first teacher- mom. My mother always told me, you will realise when you are a mom, so yes Mom, today I know what it means to go that extra mile for your kids, at the cost of making it look like it was someone else’s efforts.
So here comes the interesting part where my son says, “Everything is shut, and you are still saying school worksheets?”
The day starts and ends with board games, activity games (monopoly, scrabble, memory games, ludo, snakes and ladders, puppet show and many more). Weekend special is housie
Something is fishy. So the smarty pants pops open my laptop and is shocked to see what I was up to. “Mom, you are a CA so why is ‘ Fun science experiments for 6-year-olds’ on your screen?” I had to quickly say Google ads. But turns out that this generation already knows that CA means numbers and scientists means experiments. Time to change the mindset, through loads of conversations and the fact that a parent may have to know a bit of everything.
Here are some activities with which I have been keeping my son busy:
- Painting and drawing, all the while encouraging Palash to clean up the floor once is done.
- Encouraging him to make simple meals for himself like pasta, salad, sandwiches, with a little help from his mom.
- The day starts and ends with board games, activity games (monopoly, scrabble, memory games, ludo, snakes and ladders, puppet show and many more). Weekend special is housie.
- His school has also suggested a very interesting family game where you stick paper between two parallel walls and make holes in it, and then try and pass paper rockets through it. Whoever has the max passes wins.
- Our hi-fives have become elbow and bum touches.
- Every hour, any family member who reminds first to wash hands gets a play currency note, so Palash is also learning lessons on time and money.
- Our neighbours are like a second family to us, so their 12-year-old twins are also at our place and vice versa. They are supposed to make their own two-page e-newspaper daily and email it to their parents.
As of now, we are doing it because there is no other option, but imagine if this were to happen as a way of life.
But this gets me wondering, how many of us would sacrifice their weekend adult parties, poker sessions, night outs and voluntarily spend time with our kids to understand what they want to know about? As of now, we are doing it because there is no other option, but imagine if this were to happen as a way of life. Where children actually reap the benefits of life slowing down and work from home options for parents. Where there is so much disposable time at hand. I’m definitely slowing down more than ever.
And lastly, my son says, “Mom look some endangered species of birds and animals are out in the open,” as he watches a video circulating online which talks about the positives of coronavirus lockdown and all I think is, has our old way of life come to an end? I start singing,
“A whole new world
A new fantastic point of view.”
Jayati Kapadia is a mom to one, a corporate professional and runs an active mother’s group on WhatsApp. The views expressed are the author’s own.