Five Simple Tips for Expat Parents During the Lockdown
The recent COVID-19 pandemic has brought a drastic change in children’s education. A record number of children and youths are now staying home due to the school closures mandated by the government. Blackboards and face to face learning have transformed into virtual classes. With children spending more time at home, expat parents are working from home and managing their children’s schedules. But how do we ensure their time is being spent effectively? Here are five simple tips for expat parents during the lockdown.
1. Have a routine
Although playtime is important in a child’s growth, having a clear, simple routine is vital as it gives some structure to their day. Set a time for studying and music lessons. Allow them to play in your backyard and ensure they are getting plenty of sun and exercise. Additionally, to make it less boring for them, plan your kid’s routine with them. It allows them to feel in control of their day. Allowing them to make changes, move around the schedules (as long as they finish their tasks) also helps them feel energized and creative all day long. Plus, you’re teaching them valuable lessons about planning!
2. Let them help with house chores
Another tip for expat parents during the lockdown is to assign chores for their kids. It is a simple way to teach discipline and responsibility. To make it enjoyable, turn it into a points game. For example, add points for making beds after waking up, folding their laundry, cleaning after playtime, and at the end of the day, reward them with something special-like ice cream!
3. Cultivate a hobby
Every kid needs a hobby, and use this time to help your children start something new, or get back into something they’ve lost touch over time. This can be playing the piano, learning how to garden, painting, etc. It is also important they spend time developing their skills daily- even if it’s only for 15 minutes. Furthermore, you can assign a goal to reach so they can visualize and work towards the goal. But remember, it shouldn’t be a competition, rather a motivation for them. Kids should prioritize getting their skills sharpened.
4. What about the quaranteenagers?
Experts say help teenagers cope with the lockdown with a little grace. Instead of asking, “what are you doing online?” ask, “what are we doing online?” and focus on the whole family. Talk openly about how online life is supporting everyone- from getting the news to watching funny puppies on YouTube.
On the other hand, this has also been the time to keep in touch with friends and family, especially for expat families. It’s important to talk to your teenagers about limiting screen time and spending time with family. Getting the right amount of sleep and waking up in the morning, getting plenty of exercise is vital for the mental and physical wellbeing of teenagers.
Learn something new
If you have kids who insist on screen time, then find a different approach. Here’s a simple tip for expat parents during the lockdown. Sign them up for online classes such as photography, writing, coding, designing. Show them there’s more to the internet than just playing mindless games online. For younger kids, there are plenty of online learning resources that are both interactive and educational.
Ensure you’ve secured international health insurance for you and your family. Having health coverage gives you access to hassle-free payment for medications, emergency services, and much more. There is no knowing when one might get sick or injured in a foreign land. Taking a cue from the current pandemic, being prepared for the unexpected in terms of health and wellbeing will help you stay relaxed and secure.