In Can I just have one minute to myself, to pee, to shower or maybe just breathe? Why are my kids constantly clinging to me, whining, begging me to play with them. “Watch this mommy. Do this mommy. Come here mommy.” HELP!
Help, I need a break from my family!
I want you to know that you don’t have to feel guilty or ashamed of these feelings. It’s okay to feel like you’re about to lose your mind and rip out all of your hair; one by on by one. I also want you to know that we can walk you off of the cliff, get your heartrate back down and save your innocent hairs!
Covid isolation is not normal. It’s not something we could have prepared for and it’s not something that you would have ever imagined happening. But, guess what? It’s here, we’re in the thick of it and with the right tools I know you can get to a point where you might actually enjoy it! In order for you to reach this point, you will need to know how to get some alone time during covid, otherwise you will hit your breaking point, if you haven’t already!
“We are actually really leaning into the covid isolation!”
This is a direct quote from a past client of mine. Alyssa worked with me a few months back and she completely shifted her parenting experience. She came to me frustrated, exhausted and annoyed by parenting. Her two girls (aged 2 & 4) weren’t sleeping, so she wasn’t sleeping. They weren’t listening, so she was losing her mind. Alyssa had signed up to work 1:1 with me through my Basic Parenting Package so I was lucky enough to have her as my (victim or opportunist) for 6 full weeks! Yay! Alyssa came eager and ready to learn. She was open to making shifts and soaked up every morsel I shared with her. This is why she had the results she had.
In 6 short weeks Alyssa went from:
- Not sleeping TO sleeping (this took less than 6 weeks!)
- She went from her kids not listening TO listening
- Not feeling equipped with the right strategies, TO actually feeling in control and ready to handle the day
- Her husband started to use the tools too! (THIS IS HUGE! I love getting parents on the same page)
- During a family gathering her sister (also a mom to 4 kids) commented on how much better the girls were behaving
- Alyss is “leaning in” during covid isolation and able to enjoy parenting and her kids (This is why I ♥ doing what I do)
If you’re not “leaning in” but feel more like you’re “leaning out,” then I want you to try these 3 things as a starting off place!
3 tip to give you alone time during covid
1) Create a schedule
Be sure to set up a clear schedule which includes all of your kids daily activities. Include meals, snacks, free play, screen time, etc. Use pictures and words for toddlers and younger children. Older kids can even write their own, which helps fill their power bucket!
6:30 am: wake up, milk/water, vitamins, banana oat cookies (we always have a pre-breakfast healthy snack to avoid over-hunger)
7:00 am: GOLDEN TIME (THIS WILL GIVE YOU MORE BREAKS!) (Grab the $27 course here)
7:30 am: breakfast
8:00 am: get dressed, brush teeth, make beds (use a morning chart)
8:30 am: start e-learning/school (if you don’t have e-learning fill this spot with a structured activity independent or together)
9:30 am: screen time (THIS IS YOUR BREAK)
10:00 am: morning snack
10:30 am: go outside for fresh air, walk or bike ride
11:00 am: more e-learning, art or science project (independent or together)
12:00 pm: lunch prep and lunch (include the kids if they’re done their previous activity)
1:00 pm: quiet time (kids nap, read silently or do quiet time activities) (THIS IS YOUR BREAK)
2:00 pm: get outside
2:45 pm: snack time
3:15 pm: screen time (THIS IS YOUR BREAK)
4:00 pm: Kids play independently (THIS IS YOUR BREAK) Don’t panic! I’m showing you how to do this below…
4:30 pm: prep dinner (include kids if they are done playing)
5:00 pm: bathtime
5:30 pm: dinner
6:00 dessert and/or short show
6:20 head upstairs for books (This is more GOLDEN TIME, which fills attention and power buckets more to increase bedtime cooperation and improve behavior. Be sure you use ALL 5 ingredients)
6:45 LIGHTS OUT!
THIS IS YOUR BREAK!!!
This is just a sample of how your chart/routines could look. It all depends on your child’s age and stage. Your chart may or may not look just like this, that’s okay! This is just an idea and sample. Move things around, play with the timing and make it work for you. My kids actually eat closer to 5 and do more independent e-learning because they are 8 and 11 years old. If you need help creating an age appropriate daily schedule comment below and I will help you!
2) Start small
Don’t expect your kids to go from zero to hero. If they’re used to you doing everything for them, with them and constantly being engaged, it will take time to teach and train them to play alone. Start small. Instead, try using a schedule, similar to the example above to designate times during the day where your kids have opportunities to practice independent play.
Teach, train and practice independent play
Set up a specific time for independent play. Spend time ahead choosing activities with your kids that they can do alone and enjoy. Put these toys or activities in an “Independent Play” bin so they know during their independent time where to go and what to do.
How to help your child increase independent play
To help increase your child’s ability to play alone for longer periods of time try the following strategy. Once they’re playing and engaged, let them know that you need to go grab something quickly and you’ll be right back. Start by walking away for only a minute or two. Each time give them a bit more time and space to learn and grow their independence. When you return, offer encouragement about their independent play success. Remember to extend the time you’re away each time you step out. Slow and steady and don’t forget to remind them how great they’re doing when you return! Soon they’ll be playing for 20-30 minutes! This means more alone time with kids during covid! FREEDOM!
3) Use a timer
Definitely use a timer to help your kids build confidence with independent play and alone time. The more you work with them, the more breaks you will have. I recommend this specific Time Tracker Timer to all of my clients. Trust me, itt will be helpful not only with independent play, but also with separation anxiety, mealtimes, potty training, screen time management and more! Be sure to tell your kids in advance that they need to play alone until the timer goes off. Start small with 5 minutes and work your way up. Trust me, this strategy will work! You can use the timer to help build independence and over time you have more alone time, especially now during covid!
So if you want more breaks and more alone time with kids home 24/7 during covid isolation, I suggest:
- Set up your charts (Include Golden Time to help give you more breaks)
- Start small
- Get the Time Tracker Timer NOW!
- BOOK a complimentary Discovery Call with me to learn how I can help you “lean in” and live regret free with your kids
Please comment below and share screenshots of your charts! I will write you back!
PS. Come hang with me and Join my facebook group: Simple Parenting Solutions! It’s a group just for parents, like you, with young kids as a way to connect, get extra resources and learn lots!