This blog will talk about how the routine should be incorporated in our day to day life, keeping in mind we have to balance our work-from-home, our children’s online classes, mealtimes, entertainment, household chores, and relaxed family time together.
To start with, we need to know that “WE ARE NOT PUTTING PRESSURE ON OURSELVES TO GET EVERYTHING PERFECT”. So let’s stop trying to overachieve things. It’s ok if we are less productive some days, we are all sailing in the same boat, and we are all struggling. Priority should always be mental and physical health during this COVID19 times.
So how do we go about putting together a daily routine?
- Let’s take it seriously: The virus is here to stay, and so is the uncertainty. We had spent our last three months hoping that things would get back to normal. But the truth is, THIS IS OUR NEW NORMAL. So, work from home and online classes is the only way to maintain continuity of ‘Earning’ and ‘Learning”. Hence it has to be considered as the topmost priority in your schedule. Online classes are nothing but regular schools with a change in location: our children need to be fed this now. Parents need to understand that the video sessions are class hours, hence there shouldn’t be any interference & interruptions: except for the technical glitches, which is not in our hands. So, no coming in between classes & randomly talking to teachers or passing on a quick bite of sandwich when the child is listening to their teacher. We don’t do all these in school, so we should not do this during online classes!
- Planning a routine: Now that we have imbibed the seriousness of having a routine, we should now plan and implement one. Some quick tips around planning can be:
- Planning it with our children’s consent.
- Taking ideas and suggestions from them to make them an equal partner for this venture.
- Incase some ideas may sound impractical, we need to make our child understand it and not just randomly say no!
- Planning during that time of the day when everyone is in a relaxed mood, dinner time, or weekends.
- Having clear expectations from each and every family member.
- Taking into consideration the number of devices like laptops & phones a family has, planning needs to be done accordingly.
- Incorporating non-academic activities in the routine: We also need to integrate blocks of time for physical exercise, household chores, recreational activities, virtual socializing with friends and families, extra screen time, and “just like that” time as well. Our children aren’t robots!!! They are missing out on birthday parties, playdates, those fun-filled bus trips to schools-they need their “me-time”. So the routine needs to involve these activities for their emotional well-being. For families with more than one child, to avoid disagreement amidst their children, individual schedules should be prepared in correlation with the master schedule. Two kids fighting over an iPhone and finally dropping it on the floor can give mini heart attacks to parents.
- Making schedule visible to all: Most of the time we make plans but then they get lost amidst those piles of paper, or untraceable folders in our laptops or random notes on our phone. That’s human tendency! So to make sure that we and our children adhere to the schedule, we can physically write it down, and post it/stick it on a place where everyone can see. This will give us a reality check every now and then. To make it more interesting for our children, we can add a dash of color, highlights, and emoticons, and a pen hanging next to it so that one designated person can tick/color each block. Having multiple copies is also a great idea, in case any child acts smart by pretending not to notice the schedule. Well, millennial children are way smarter!
- Being consistent: No plan is 100 percent fool-proof, same with schedules. Argument, disagreement & deviation will occur, especially when we are dealing with young children. Patience and consistency are the keys. We need a practical and manageable schedule and not a random schedule we saw on the internet or shared by a parent. Every family is different, every child is different, and hence the schedule should be as per a family’s need and goal. And being consistent with our goal will eventually help the children make peace with the new change in lifestyle
- Discussing the prepared schedule with others: We are now living in the virtual world, then what can be a better way to inspire and motivate oneself by sharing and discussing our routine with fellow parents, educators, and peers. Not only will it be widely appreciated, we never know, but others may also come up with creative and fun-filled ideas to make the schedule more interesting.
- Frequent family meetings to review the schedule: “Meetings” may sound big to little children, but the intent is to make them responsible for their actions and voice their concerns, including parent’s views. Hence weekly or the fortnightly family get-together can be held over juices and snacks and discuss the weekly progress with the routine, whether any changes need to be made or whether we need a brand new schedule altogether. Children can come up with great ideas while munching on chocolates.
- Collaborate with Vega Schools: At Vega Schools, collaboration is one of our core values, and we believe in working along with parents and their expectations. Thus as parents, it is the responsibility of the parents to notify and discuss with the school regarding online sessions and offline tasks, and the schedule built around it. Some schools may not be fully aware of the unique situation a child or his/her family face, and instead of suffering in silence, it is always a good idea to be open and honest with the school and the learning leaders!
The importance of routine in today’s post COVID world is stronger than ever. It’s not just to get tasks completed, but for our wellbeing and for those who live with us, our children. Apart from developing good and healthy habits, it provides a sense of safety, which we all need right now.
And remember… all our children will remember this strange time when they’re older. Let’s try to make a couple of good memories out of it.