Having alone time being a parent
Let’s talk about some of the ways to have alone time as a parent, with your partner or alone, through a time like this.
I believe the key is all in the daily routine you have set up for yourself and family. I am not saying an hour by hour period sheet but some structure throughout the day and goals. Firstly, you want to establish what time you want it to be parent time (example 9 pm-11 pm). Doctors say the recommended amount of sleep for toddlers is around 12 hours a night, a child aged three to six needs 10-12 hours and seven-twelve years olds need 10-11 hours. So, with that in mind, you can make a scheduled bedtime plan that works for everyone in the house.
Now here comes the hard part getting your kid to sleep at that time or at least in bed by that time, it increasingly gets harder when you bring natural body clock into the mix (Melatonin hormone responsible for sleep/wake cycle or body clock). You want Melatonin releasing at the correct time for the plan to work. Time to put a plan together: GENTLY wake up your child at the desired time. Do a morning run of brushing teeth, washing, eating. Whatever you usually do just with a lot of natural light filling the house (you want that sunlight & it’s a beautiful way to start the day). Select a couple of activities you and your child want to do throughout the day. Plan the day together. I have put a list of a few ideas you can try below.
Arts & Crafts (Recycle cardboard boxes) grabbing ANYTHING from around the house and making it something else. By cutting, glue sticking etc.
Baking Put things together in a bowl, mix, bake and hope for the best.
Household treasure hunt. Hide an item and see if they can find it (add a timer, much more fun)
Make dens. Build a castle in the house using EVERYTHING, the couch, beds EVERYTHING
Making music Everything makes a noise, see who can make the best random drum set.
Make your own TV show. Record using your phone, something weird and fun.
LUNCH Do that hour of fitness plus your second activity of the day
Settle things down! Turn down or off lights, get that Melatonin starting to flow. Have a bedtime routine (so they know it’s coming) brush teeth, bedtime book. Get them into bed and keep them there. Kids will test but let them know you’re the boss. Do this for a week to give their body clock a good understanding of when it’s time to release that Melatonin.
ENJOY YOUR PARENT TIME!
People seem to think this is hard setting a routine up, but the truth of the matter is we all live in routine! Whether you know it or not. What do most people do on a normal day is, wake up, shower, brush teeth, eat, go to work, come back look after the kids, cook, eat, put kids to bed, relax yourself, put yourself to sleep then repeat. So, everyone can make a good routine for lockdown, helping everyone stay sane. How are you going to structure your day? What activities are you planning for the day? What are you going to do for your parent time? Kai Smith