Quarantine Boredom and Life Skills (Episode 140)
Quarantine boredom has set in, parents are getting frustrated, and...your kids are learning anyway. What can they learn that helps everyone? Well, first off, let them be bored. And second off...those life skills are developing whether you're intentional or not...
Your children are learning a lot right now - what are the observing around them?
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Yes, right now is an uncertain time for so many. We aren't quite sure what the next few months will look like, yet at this point our kids are getting restless, we're trying to keep our sanity, and we need to assess how to create a "normal" when nothing is normal anymore.
Our children are not on pause while we figure this out. They need things to do, and the pressure to make this time perfect is not only lofty, but can be super damaging. We have to be realistic about our emotions during this time.
Your children are not oblivious. They can process way more than we often give them credit for. They are feeding off the energy and focus in the home. And they are seeing every emotion you are going through.
Grief is merited
We have to recognize that as our plans have shifted, we have to be prepared for the range of emotions you process through in grief. It's important to acknowledge this. Here are the five stages of grief:
- Denial: “This can’t be happening to me.”
- Anger: “Why is this happening? Who is to blame?”
- Bargaining: “Make this not happen, and in return I will ____.”
- Depression: “I’m too sad to do anything.”
- Acceptance: “I’m at peace with what happened.”
All over the world, people are in different places of this, from fighting it to looking at new ways to reframe their lifestyle. And understanding these are processes that are important in letting go, we have to recognize these emotions have their place as we learn, grow and eventually heal from the extreme change and shift we've had in our lifestyle and culture.
Remember your Family Vision
If you haven't yet created your family vision, now is a great time to do so. You can read more about the family vision here, or get the free video series below. Ultimately, now is a time to reflect on what you want "family" and "home" to look and feel like.
This is so critical to be on the same page. Is your family thriving right now, or barely surviving?
Activities of Daily Living
I so love this - "activities of daily living" - aka enforcing solid life skills. I'll get into this more below, but first, here is an example of #KickinItUnschool in our home:
We don't give our children an allowance;
we teach them how to make a living
This chore list over here was created and identified by our daughters, ages 7, 10 and almost 13.
Their money is monopoly money. This isn't just about shelling out cash, but helping them understand energy exchange and making a living.
With this money, they may be able to use their "cash" for a random snack or treat, but the ultimate requirement is that they pay us $25 for rent to stay in our home.
The kids experience getting their cash in hand every night. Then they have to hand back $25 to Daddy right away for their rent for the day. They started to navigate how they would do chores, what happens when one person rushes around and takes up all the easy chores, or the one who waits until the last minute, or only think a day at a time vs looking forward.
We didn't want to just teach them how to be in this life, but to actually throw them in and let them live in it with the life skills and requirements needed.
Ironically, as I was prepping this episode this morning, I saw this post on Facebook from my friend Jessica...spot on what we're doing, and where I heard this "Activities of Daily Living" concept:
Let Them Be Bored
Oh yes, now is the time to let them be bored! It's not always fun, it can be absolutely obnoxious, but letting kids be bored is an essential coping skill that is so valuable in life!
Nathan talked in the podcast episode about the uncomfortable transition time from kids being used to push-button entertainment and then going through the struggle of figuring out what to do with themselves when that's not there.
It's not the easiest to let your kids flounder, but through that you may spark creativity that was buried deep, and who knows what new interests you may uncover!
What will your children do when they can't go play with their friends or hop on technology? Do your children know what else they could do with their time?
And an even bigger question...do you?
Just like alcoholism...we all have our own version of "rock bottom" before boredom incites us to move toward creativity and production.
Check out the image here with the BORED acronym. Share it with your family. Read the "Have You Filled A Bucket" book. And then...walk away.
Pin for later:
Give your family space to navigate their boredom without you.
Have you filled a bucket today?
When we are feeling lost, overwhelmed, discouraged, scared, fearful, etc...sometimes it helps to look beyond ourselves to see how we can serve others.
What are some ways you can fill another's bucket?
- Bucket-filler Activities for Teachers
- Pinterest Ideas for bucket-filling
- BucketFillers 101 Free Activities
Here is the author reading the book, and boy are there a ton of YouTube videos on filling buckets!
- Learn More About A Family Vision here
- Get the Family Vision free video series
- It's the end of the world...as we know it (Episode 138)
- Don't get stressed about education; let them play (Episode 139)
- Is your family thriving...or barely surviving?
- All kinds of great online learning resources to entertain and educate your children!
Your Weekly Challenge:
Talk with your children. You don't have to open the doors of worry and fear, but don't put your children on hold during this time. They are active, curious, and looking to their parents to determine how they navigate this.
Recognize education is happening regardless of what you're doing. Share your journey. Talk with them as you're thinking through next steps. Help them live life with you and learn how to cook, take care of the house, even run a Zoom call. What can they learn about together with you?
Give some grace for crazy emotions - we are all processing this in our own way. The uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us.
Questions or comments?
Personality styles, marriage/intimacy, parenting, education, minimalism or travel - what is pressing on your mind?
Or, hop on over to the Mama Says Namaste or Unschooling Families FB groups and ask your question there!
Where are we this week?
We are settled in to a family lake house to stay isolated and healthy and not be a part of the spread.
Ironically, Nathan has always said that if things blew up, we'd find sanctuary here. And completely unplanned by us, we were actually right where we needed to be when this really broke out in the US. We are so grateful for this sanctuary right now.
Follow us on our journey on Insta as the FieldTripGypsies!
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