It can feel like the holidays every day at the moment as many families are in lockdown during the COVID-19 outbreak. Waking and getting up times are different, mealtimes are whenever families are hungry, the activities and the way we fill our time are fluid and bedtimes seem to be much later. There is very little structure to the days without school and work.
From speaking with friends and colleagues and reading Facebook posts, this seems to be the general ‘current’ way of life for many families. Fluidity is great, if it works for you (and no one is getting frustrated with anyone), but it doesn’t work for all.
I do believe that there has to be structure somewhere. After all, school aged children, up until mid march, will have been getting up at a regular time, will have had a set bedtime, set school hours and after school activities. There will have been structure and it is something children are used to.
Structure Provides Security
Structure, as we all know, provides safety and security to children and can help when life is a bit topsy turvy. The structure does not have to be rigid and it can be a couple of guidelines that keeps everyone feeling safe and know what they need to be doing.
For example, maybe you can have a set bedtime for your children (with a 30-60 minute window so your child can choose when to go to sleep or have a bit longer if they aren’t tired). Or set mealtimes – breakfast at 9, lunch at 1pm and dinner at 7pm. Maybe they could be up by a certain time every morning and do some exercise.
It gives everyone in the house structure and benefits both adults and children. This is a strange time for everyone but we can help calm worries and keep boredom at bay by adding some structure to the day.