As soon as the schools were announced, parents did not know if they feared the corona disease itself more than managing children 24 hours a day, teleworking, school at home, three meals a day and lack of activities.
How to organize, find your routine without becoming zinzin during the entire period of confinement? Our suggestions to survive without flipping out with the help of Jessica Cymerman, mother of 4 children, child specialist, founder of Serial Mom who just released her 18th book Parents talk to parents to Hachette. “ A collection of real tips tested and approved by thousands of parents, whether it concerns homework, grooming, sleeping, organization. ”
Organize a real schedule
As at school or in summer camp, we define a real schedule with defined time slots and strict hours. Nothing could be more effective than organizing a family meeting to explain and define the schedule, the time of confinement: “ With my husband, we clearly explained to our 4 children aged 14, 12, 6 and 3 that the confinement is not a vacation ” , explains Jessica Cymerman.
“Wake up at 8am. Breakfast, homework for the 3 who have it. The 2 adults who are in 5 th and 3 rd manage almost alone with their teachers who give them homework on Pronote and some who teach by videoconference.
Around 11:30 a.m. everyone helps to prepare lunch, sets the table, clears it. Then the 3-year-old takes a big nap which allows us to finish the homework with the older children, to play a game together. Before allowing them a screen break… And we, the parents, to work. ”
“At snack time: it's time to bake a cake, eat it, take a bath. Then take a reading break before having an early dinner so as not to go to bed too late. We still grant adults the right to go to bed later ... We can still work, concerning ourselves, in the evening, fortunately. ”
Arrange your apartment
Revising the functionality of our apartment, the use of which has been completely turned upside down, is vital especially when we live in small spaces in the city. The idea: transform the dining room into a classroom or even the TV corner (with a felt-tip board in front so as not to tempt them) for the little ones in which we install their small desks. After homework, we put the equipment away for good in a dedicated bin… and switch to playroom mode.
Also remember to put in the cellar or hide anything that is fragile so that the kids can play without causing damage. On the other hand, if the parents telework in the office or their room, it must be prohibited for the children at least during working hours. “ Children need to understand that when we need to telecommute, they should not disturb us. It is THE rule, otherwise it is madness ” , explains Jessica Cymerman .
Define everyone's tasks
Define everyone's role with the obligation to stick to it, making sure everyone does what he or she likes. “ My husband, I'm lucky, loves to cook, my thing is cleaning, ” explains Jessica Cymerman.
“ More than ever, children need to make their beds, fold laundry, clear things… ”. Even the little ones are involved, even if it means peeling the green beans, putting the glasses and spoons in the washing machine, vacuuming and taking down the trash for the means.
Spend them and exercise
“ I am lucky to be in the country but I know that my friends who are in an apartment make them do sports, yoga, meditation… Consider looking at Lucile Woodward's account , who offers sports ideas on its IG for the kids or even the classes of Pope Marie Caroline Peponnet with Yoga 4 Kids , which offers family yoga exercises on IGTV ”, suggests Jessica . “ And of course we download the Tik Tok app for the choreo, and we get started with them!”
Another idea: do not hesitate to push the lamps and sofas in your living room and twist it in the recreation room, the windows wide open to ventilate and offer a football or a prison ball for 1 hour during the day, and make the corridor a line of scooters or rollerblades for the little ones.
Getting by with food
How to avoid turning into a desperate housewife ? We organize menus like in the canteen, even if it means making them with them. We think of making a well-defined shopping list, and having it delivered by traders who deliver good products !
“ My friend Clara gives great meal ideas for large families with a special Coronavirus weekly planner , very detailed, day after day, with all the recipes that go with it, ” explains Jessica Cymerman. “ Another idea: we follow the wonderful Miss Maggies Kitchen who gives cooking lessons live on her IGTV” .
Organize time slots without them
Impossible to spend 24 hours with them. Even the mistresses don't. “ In an exceptional situation, exceptional solutions. We're not going to lie to each other, the iPad and TV are our best allies. We'll have to trust them too. The two grown-ups need to keep in touch with their friends with Insta, Facetime. It's the same as us, ”admits Jessica Cymerman .
“ Be careful: who says screen does not mean that we watch anything all day long. My 6 year old son is a fan of Un jour Une question , a great program to learn tips or Speakeasy to learn English. We can do reruns of C'est pas sorcier . There is also the jeuxpedago site with ideas for fun games for school. I also love making them discover things on Youtube like My Beloved Witch . ”
“ We are all living in an unprecedented, scary and unprecedented situation. So since we can't be all at the same time, yes, we will say yes to screens and candies more than usual. It does not matter. Children will not come out less intelligent. This is violent for them too ”, analyzes Jessica Cymerman .
“ It doesn't prevent us from doing things together.” And if we don't fall for board games, it doesn't matter: “ We take a sheet of paper, a pen, we play baccalaureate, hangman. If we have a card game, we're saved! You have to do yourself some good. Do them good, reassure them. ”
Also discover Pandacraft, the magic solution to intelligently occupy the kids and cool recipes to make with them such as the famous pancake cake or an incredible unicorn sandwich .