MAKE THE BEST OF OUR TIME TOGETHER
Becky Stellmacher, MSE, MS, LPC, Child and Adolescent Counselor, SCC
Writing for the this blog post began during the COVID-19 pandemic. We discussed writing about the Week of the Young Child (April 11-17) to share ideas about how to enrich our relationships with the young people in our lives. As conditions have shifted, we now know that we be spending much more time at home with our family members, and not only do we need to tend to the needs of young people, we also need to care for our family units. Close quarters, crumbs on the counter, new schedules, sadness over lost social connections, and financial and health worries will cause new stressors at home. I encourage you to try some of these activities:
Music Monday – Yes, have a dance party, sing together, or create a musical instrument with recycled materials. Also use your phone or speaker device to be a DJ. Play songs from your youth during the time it takes to wash the family dishes. Teach young children how to help with these chores. In the meantime, tell stories about your fashion, hairstyles, and taste in music when you were younger. You will make memories—and household helpers.
Tasty Tuesday – Create a healthy snack, make a meal together, or bake cookies as a team. Take it an extra step and plant seeds in small pots and put them in a sunny window. Remember putting toothpicks in a potato to support it in a glass of water and waiting for it to sprout? What else can you grow together? Look for teaching videos online made for young, curious minds.
Work Together Wednesday – Create a Lego or block structure, make a fort with cushions or blankets, or reorganize toys together. Encourage kids to fill their forts with stuffed animals and books for some cozy reading time. Consider rearranging the furniture in your child’s room with their input. This is certainly a time for a new outlook on life!
Artsy Thursday – Make art together, then string yarn or rope across a wall or window and use clothespins to hang the new creations. Consider making post-card size masterpieces and addressing them to friends and family via the USPS. Teach your children to become letterwriters and pen pals, a lost art for sure.
Family Friday –Board games, walks, or playing outside are all engaging activities. It’s the perfect time of year to play in the mud, so be prepared to insist that shoes come off at the door! Listen for
different bird songs, watch the progress of sprouting tulip bulbs, and find animal shapes in the clouds. Nature is still “open for business,” and is timeless in its ability to soothe the anxious soul.