Older Kids Stuck At Home? How To Structure Their Day

older kids stuck at home
Mar 26 2020 3 min read

As a parent we are sure you have seen many articles and self-learning resources being posted online lately for younger children, however, if you are a parent of an older child or teenager you might be wondering; where is my advice?

We understand and we want to try and provide a little help. While it is certainly a challenge to keep a toddler busy during the day it may be even more important for the overall well being of your family to make sure their older kids have a structured day too.

Here are things that can be done to give your preteens and teenagers the stability and entertainment they (perhaps secretly) crave:

1. Make a big deal about holidays

If you are not the type of family who typically puts much effort into holidays now is a great time to start. For example here are ways you can make Easter extra special for older kids:

  • Go beyond colouring eggs. Let them express themselves and decorate an egg or two however they want. Black eggs with band logos drawn on are a lot better than a wall being decorated with yoke.
  • Hide more than eggs. If your child has grown out of Easter egg hunts, try hiding things they actually care about. Costume jewellery, hot wheels or toonies come to mind but what you hide will depend on the age and interests of your kid(s).
  • Relax the candy rules. While eating well will keep moods positive and bodies healthy while stuck at home, now might be an ok time to let them eat a little more Easter candy during the day than they otherwise would.

Who knows, maybe a new family tradition will be born this year?

2 Alone time

Family time is important, but for older children so is alone time. Remember what your preteen/teen years were like? Now imagine dealing with all the changes that came with that period of your life while stuck inside the house with your family 24/7. Not fun!

Give them the freedom to walk by themselves in the neighbourhood (obviously with limits depending on their age), give them control of the TV at certain times so they can watch what is important to them and if your house allows for it give them a dedicated space all their own other than their bedroom so they have another place to go.

3. At least one meal together per day

As important as it is to give them their space and time, we can not go too far and become isolated from each other. It is equally important to maintain family togetherness and a good way to help with that is to consistently share at least 1 meal per day.

This way no matter how off in their worlds they become at times, they know there will be a chance in the day to be connected. They may not always seem like they want to, but it is very important to maintain it.

4. Strict wake up/bedtime

Children of all ages crave and thrive off of routine. Do not let them sleep in until noon or stay awake until 3:00 a.m. Even without school to keep their schedule on track, it is still important to maintain the consistency of their wake/sleep times.

5. Morning chores

Something else we all thrive off, and children are no different, is the positive effects of feeling accomplished. Giving older children daily chores to handle is an important part of keeping them busy, disciplined and feeling good.

Having these chores done first thing in the morning teaches them to avoid procrastination but more importantly starts their day off with a positive sense of accomplishment and fulfilment.

Our minds are made steady and safe through repetitive motions and expected outcomes. Who would benefit from this more than pre-teens and teenagers? Not only do habits create a mood which creates personality, but they also help us avoid being jerked around by impulsiveness.

In short, we are unhappy when we are aimless and happiest when we have expected tasks to accomplish.

Erie Mutual Insurance proudly serves the commercial insurance, farm insurance, home insurance and auto insurance needs of members throughout Southern Ontario including Haldimand, Niagara and Hamilton.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have about this or any other topic related to your insurance.

Please contact us with any questions you may have about this or any other topic related to your insurance.

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