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Some tips for managing containment with children at home

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Since Tuesday March 17, the French have been under house arrest. This period of confinement can be difficult to live with, especially for isolated people. Families also have to change their habits to cope with this complicated situation. If you have one or more children, today we suggest that you discover some tips for getting the most out of confinement.

Overnight, with no way of anticipating such a situation, you found yourself stranded at home. With perhaps managing your telework, your children (more or less numerous), your house.

The first week hit you in the head: it’s not a vacation. It’s even more difficult than usual daily life. In addition to possibly having to insure your work in precarious conditions. You will have to manage the functions of schoolmaster, cook, cleaning lady / man, sports teacher … You have to juggle between the time difference adopted by your children and the office hours that you have to ensure. You must provide three meals a day and be able to keep passages in the house without toys to be able to circulate.

Add to that, the disappointments that undermine morale: cancellation of vacations, cancellation of outings, cancellation of extracurricular activities, cloistered birthdays, wage cuts or losses, current climate, food shortages …

So after the slap in the first few weeks, you want to pull yourself together. Especially since there is little chance that quarantine will end quickly (and the resumption of school even less). There is no question of missing the opportunity to have time at home together. You want to take advantage of this confinement to make new creations and make this complicated situation an advantage for your family, your home and yourself.

You will find below an organizational proposal to allow you to optimize and make the most of your family confinement time.

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Make lists

First step, even if that
seems trivial to you in the face of the emergency you are experiencing at the moment,
take time.

Time to make a list Of which
you want to perform during this quarantine. The goal is to choose what
which is important, and what is not. During this time, he
highlight the things you don’t take the time to do
usually close to your heart.

For example: is it important for you to work? If yes, to what level? Do your children have to work? And if so, how long? Do you want to play sports? What small jobs do you want to do at home? What personal project do you want to take the time to develop? Do you want to train?…

The list may be long, but at that time set steps : the essentials, the easy ones, the difficult ones and perfection.

Although you feel like you have a lot of
currently constrained. The fact that they are all centralized in your home
in the same place, that you don’t need to move to perform them and that
you no longer have unnecessary expenses (such as outings, meetings …), this
allows you to save time and thus increase the list of your actions.

Get your family involved. They too surely have goals that they would like to achieve. And so you can involve them in projects that may concern the whole family (such as housework, meals, improvements to the house, working hours, etc.). If your children are young, offer it to them in a fun way, so they will be much more interested in getting involved with you in this project.

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Don’t be too demanding with yourself and with others

Don’t be too demanding. Yes, your children will not be able to learn as much as at school. But don’t worry, they will gain new skills by being by your side more often. Keep in mind that these are children, and that at some point during the day they may be upset, tired or in a bad mood. They will never do as much household chores as you do, they will only do the minimum … but demand a tidying up of their own mess commensurate with their age.

You also won’t be able to be as productive at work as usual. The goal is to give the best of yourself.

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Do you listen

During this quarantine and despite your objectives, he
will have to listen to each other
. Don’t overdo it in one day, set yourself
affordable goals. Otherwise you risk abandoning your projects. When
you feel tired, take micro-breaks.

For example, if you are not in the morning, when you get up do not think about everything that is waiting for you, postpone this for after the coffee break. Second example, if you want to redo the upholstery of a bedroom, set yourself one wall a day.

Try to keep your morale high. Your good humor will surely contaminate those around you, who will return it to you. You cannot be perfect, you will probably have misconduct, or low morale. But the goal is just to give the best of yourself. This will strengthen the bonds that exist within your family (and the neighbors will thank you).

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Keep a rhythm

The second step to implement is a schedule. It is the KEY to successful containment. Indeed, as you may have noticed, this is not a vacation. The more you keep pace, the more effective your quarantine will be.

First you have to differentiate between working days and rest days (weekends and Wednesdays). The breaks will allow you to fully ensure the days of work or more intense activity. The goal is not to do nothing on so-called « flexible days », but to reserve them for restful activities.

Your family must keep pace. But not necessarily as tiring as that of school. In other words, getting up at 7 a.m. is not compulsory. It is even better to adapt to your child, if he is a heavy sleeper and he likes to sleep late in the day (like many teenagers for example). You can then require a wake-up call at around 10 a.m. / 10.30 a.m., but beware, not later, you must keep a healthy lifestyle which must be set around the rhythm of the sun. And so you can enjoy a longer evening with your child. And conversely, if you have a child who gets up early, take the opportunity to sleep early, and have an evening for yourself.

Establish the obligations of managing a
. For example : meals, Household chores
daily, laundry, ironing, management of pets …

Breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner at fixed times. If you have the possibility of anticipating your menus (weekly for example), this will allow you to optimize your time. Do not hesitate to involve your children, because these are activities that allow them to grow.

For the rest of the housework, set slots during the week (for example, ironing for Sunday morning and vacuuming for Friday evening).

After breakfast, don’t forget to set a time for dressing and washing. Quarantine does not justify a lack of hygiene. In addition, it is advisable not to leave the children or yourself in pajamas. You don’t necessarily have to dress well, sportswear will be much better suited to this situation.

In addition, take advantage of confinement to detoxify your skin and give your hair fiber a vacation (avoid makeup, flat irons, etc.).

Set time slots according to your objectives
for work
, depending on the autonomy of your children. If your
children are small, set separate slots. If they are autonomous, set
attached slots (attention, check the work afterwards). You have to fix the
biggest time slot possible in the morning about two or three hours as well
the afternoon will only allow you to finish what did not have time to be

And finally, set up time slots
to achieve your personal goals
. Those you care about
and those that matter to your children, preferably after work. The morning
it’s school and then in the afternoon it’s games, sports or music.

Add to this little potion motivational materials that you can create for yourself and for your children. For example: a motivation / goal table, a meal list, a shopping list, a validation file, home school books (proof of work done at home) …

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Let’s take an example…

We’ll take Sam’s example. He has four children (16, 12, 7 and 3), he is off work to take care of his children, but still has to report to his employer, about 3 hours of work per day. And his wife must continue to go to work.

He set as objectives:

  • to continue working minimum 2:30 hours (except weekends),
  • to make his children work at least 2 hours in the morning (except weekends),
  • to have his two older children work an additional 1.5 hours in the afternoon (except weekends),
  • to do some sport,
  • to make the tapestry of his stairwell,
  • develop your drawing skills,
  • to keep the house tidy and clean,
  • to make a motivation table so that his children develop the skills they wanted to highlight

So here is his weekly schedule:

  • 7 am – Sam’s awakening
  • 7 am-7.20am – Sam’s sport
  • 7:30 am / 10:00 am – Work for his employer
  • 10 a.m. – Waking up, breakfast, washing and dressing the children
  • 10:30 am – Child labor (The two larger independently in their bedroom and the two smaller together in the living room). It’s important that everyone has their workspace
  • 12:30 p.m. – End of work, meal preparation and meal for the cat (Sam cooks quickly thanks to the meal planning he set up the previous weekend)
  • 2 p.m. – Resumption of child labor (For the little ones it’s more fun, because they make plastic art and drawings), or what they are able to do alone. Meanwhile, Sam takes care of checking the work of the grown-ups.
  • 3.30 p.m. – End of work and start of activities

Sam has set up a motivation table for his children which consists of his children earning a point per action carried out (creation, reading, plastic art, sport…), and at the end of the week who has the most is the winner and will have a reward at the end of the quarantine (to motivate them). So during this time Sam is still working for his employer or playing with his children.

  • 4.30 p.m. – Snack
  • 5 / 5.30 p.m. – Staircase work
  • 5.30 p.m. / 6 p.m. – Break for Sam
  • 6 p.m. – Storage of the house for Sam
  • 19h – Preparation of the evening meal, while the children have to put away the mess accumulated during the day
  • 7:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. – Meal

And in the evening, it’s a movie or a board game for his children. And at the same time, it takes time to learn to draw as he always wanted to do.

The weekend is easier, it takes two hours to do its painting work in the stairwell, the meal times do not change, it does the cleaning that it set with the help of his companion (each has his attributions). He takes advantage of his children by playing with them. And he takes the opportunity to do 2 hours of additional sport.

There are things that Sam can’t do in her
day, but what matters is that the next day, thanks to the timetable
has set up, he can do it.

– Evgeny Hmur / Shutterstock.com

The more you organize your time, the more time you spend with your children. You will have proof and the reward because your children will grow more during this period. And you will see your projects move forward, while respecting your own well-being.


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