Six Tips to Create Family Routines and Calm in Uncertain Times

Family routines and structure help kids feel calm and safe. But when schools are closed, your job is in flux and fear is widespread, how can parents create structure at home? In uncertain times, maintaining routines, family connection and calm is more important than ever.

This weekend, my family created our daily routine for the coming weeks of the Covid 19 pandemic. Since school is closed, my kids are excited to sleep a little later in the morning so I can get a jump start on working from home. After breakfast, they will do school work, practice music and small chores around the house. After lunch, they’ll head outside to get some exercise and fresh air. Then, they can work on fun projects and have some screen time. In the evenings, we’re planning game nights, movie nights and other fun activities to connect and relax.

Daily Family Routine During Pandemic

March 2020 COVID 19 – Family Schedule During Quarantine
Mom work time
Kids eat breakfast, do school work, practice music, finish chores. Mom work time.
Kids eat lunch, go outside, do fun projects and screen time. Mom finishes her work.
EveningDad home, dinner and family activity (game night, movie night, etc)

I realize this sounds regimented, but since my kids helped to create the plan, they are comfortable with it. And I’m feeling relieved that I will be able get my work done with kids at home. A little structure is helping all of us feel more settled. And of course, we’ll all need to be flexible and adjust the plan as needed.

List o six tips to create family routines, connection and calm in uncertain times.

Here are a Six Tips to Create Family Routines, Connection and Calm in Uncertain Times:

  1. Create a family routine (be sure to include input from your kids!)
  2. Connect at dinnertime with meaningful conversations (see family dinner topic ideas)
  3. Schedule time to relax and have fun (game night, movie night, etc)
  4. Set ground rules for screen time – With no school and parents needing to get work done, screen time can easily get out of hand. Setting rules for screen time, such as finishing school work, chores and other activities first, can help create balance.
  5. Hold family meetings to keep the peace (see family meeting format) – Tons of family time and elevated stress levels are likely to increase tension at home. Family meetings are a great way to open the lines of communication and keep the peace
  6. Check-in with kids to explore emotions – This is a stressful time for everyone, especially kids. Find quiet moments to check in and help your kids explore their feelings. Validating emotions is key to connecting with your kids.

Take care and be sure to reach out to others for help during this uncertain time. We are all in this together!

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Published by Jessica Speer, Author

Author and Advocate for Kids and Families

6 thoughts on “Six Tips to Create Family Routines and Calm in Uncertain Times

  1. Your suggestions are, as always, spot-on. Structure helps so much in a new situation like this.
    I’m so proud of how the local school district (and it sounds like yours, too!) was proactive in their planning. As soon as they realized the corona virus was going to get loose, they started planning. When the order came to shut down the schools, they were ready. They were down for a day while they worked out the final details, and now, the kids are back at school!
    This has been a very stressful, upsetting time. But it has also been a time when people are stepping up and doing what needs to be done.

Please share! I welcome your thougths and comments.

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