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Home Life With Your Kids

EDITOR NOTE: We asked Becca Smith (ordained pastor, wife, mother to 6 and whoever else appears during meal times because of their open door policy from years of youth ministry, dog mom, insane crafter, and all around super woman) to share how she is coping and adjusting to home life under social quarantine! Here is what she had to share:

I don’t know about you, but last week my life changed drastically. It was announced that all on campus schooling would be canceled for the next month. As a mom of six kids, ranging from 5 years old to 21, my kids are best friends or greatest rivals, and it can change in a moment! I, like you, am thinking, “How will I keep them entertained?” “What will we do all day?” “How will we survive this?!?”

First, let me just say, you set the tone for how this season unfolds. How are you approaching this new challenge? Are you already defeated, feeling overwhelmed and set on failure before you begin? Or are you somewhat unsure but totally up for the challenge?

Guess what, you can do this! You have been hand picked by God to be the parents of incredible children. Before time, God knew you would love them and raise them. He knows you can be exactly who they need in this crazy and uncertain time. This season is not a surprise to Him. You are an amazing parent who, along with your kids will have victory in this season if you trust the Lord.

For most of us, this is a brand new challenge. So when it seems like the walls are caving in and fights are breaking out like there’s one package of toilet paper left at Costco (too soon?) What can you do to keep the peace and joy in your home?

Start your day off right. Read your bible, listen to worship music, get dressed. Strengthen your spirit. All that you need is found in Jesus. As we connect with Him, we can handle whatever comes our way.

Take a break. Sometimes, we just need space. If arguments start breaking out, have your kids go to separate areas and read or play alone. It gives everyone a chance to reset.

Limit screen time. I don’t know about you but sometimes it’s easier to have technology be the babysitter. But I find after long periods of inactivity, my kids get restless and irritable. The school day is full of both intellectual and physical activities . Your kids are used to being engaged. They need to get off the couch and given an opportunity to create, imagine and exercise.

Let them play. You don’t have to become Pinterest mom of the year. Give your kids space to use their imaginations. Don’t schedule every second of every day. This may be hard for them at first, but they can do it! Imagination is an important part of their development.

Remember, You can do this. I was raised by a stay at home mom. We didn’t have streaming videos, cell phones, computers or even cable. (it was expensive!) My favorite memories are playing cards with my mom, dressing up with my siblings and making my brother be the family dog, playing barbies with my sister and running around in the backyard until the sun went down. We worked together, resolved disagreements, compromised and (surprise) survived!

We can choose to approach this season as an opportunity to enjoy our kids in a way our busy schedules barely allow. We can create space for conversation and connection that our kids will never forget.

Here are a few more fun and easy things you can do with your kids…

  • Have a picnic lunch in the living room or back yard.
  • Take a dance break. May I suggest The Greatest Showman soundtrack or “Super Cool” by Beck from the Lego Movie 2 soundtrack.
  • Play a board game or cards (King’s Corners is one of our favorites)
  • Read a chapter book together (you can borrow books from online libraries)
  • Have a living room sleepover or tent camp in the back yard
    Paint or draw together
  • Go on walks or bike rides as a family. (we are mobbing the neighborhood nightly)
  • Have a movie night or Play a video game together (my boys LOVE to beat me at racing)
  • Build a fort
  • Eat dinner together (Here are a list of questions to get them talking 63 Fun Questions to Get Your Kid Talking https://www.parents.com/parenting/better-parenting/advice/questions-every-parent-should-ask-their-kid/)

As you embark on this new challenge, know you are not alone. Be patient, laugh at all the stuff, and enjoy this moment in time for it will never come again. And to all the parents out there making it happen, we cheer you on! You’re amazing!!! Becca

– Becca Smith

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