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With the stay-at-home orders being continued in most places as we try to continue to flatten the curve of the Coronavirus pandemic, you may find yourself at near wit’s end. It’s a task to balance working from home with kids and their homework without trying to kill each other. As social media reports suggest, parents are starting to become a bit tense. It’s a challenge with all of the social isolation and too much time spent under the same roof with a gaggle of restless kids underfoot.
One opportunity that you can take during this stress-filled time in our lives is to teach kids about life skills. Like most of us living in the digital age, it is likely that you haven’t gone out of your way to teach your children how to be self-sufficient around the house.
Think back to when you were a child. Do you remember your mom suggesting that you do chores at home? Were you given a weekly allowance as an incentive to help out more around the house?
If you haven’t set up a system like this one and are tired of dealing with the endless cleaning in your home, then the at-home orders given by health and government officials are the perfect incentive to get going on a crash course in life skills 101 for your kids.
Please note that your child’s ability will vary depending on his or her age, personal development, fitness level, and overall aptitude. If your child or children can’t manage a certain chore, you can always offer them a modified version. You could also offer them an opportunity to do something that is better suited to their willingness and abilities.
Below find some great ideas for what life skills to teach kids who are learning from home.
Basic Cooking and Serving Skills
In terms of using the stove, apply your own careful discretion. For kids who seem ready, you can take them through the process of how to make a sandwich, how to put together a dinner salad, or how to prepare toast.
You can team up on baking projects or make morning pancakes together. Don’t forget to hang back and let your kids do everything step by step (remember based on their age!). Taking over where your children fall short only enables them rather than helping them cultivate needed skills.
Dusting and Polishing Furniture
Every mom’s least favorite chore can become an easy way for your kids to collect a few dollars’ for their allowance. Grab an old sock or a dust rag and your furniture polish… or mix up a homemade cleaning recipe that you find online. Put kids to work dusting furniture, knick-knacks, and picture frames.
Washing and Folding Laundry
Laundry management is one of the simplest and most helpful tasks to involve your children in. Plus, it will help immensely to have this tedious chore managed by someone other than you!
You don’t even have to be picky about how the clothes are folded. Just a few simple lessons for kids in how to sort by item, match socks, and fold clothes can greatly reduce your laundry to-do list. Littles can match and roll socks. Older kids can fill and run the washer and dryer. Soon enough, you’re on your way to having some capable laundry doers. This is ideal either during a panic-inducing pandemic or just on an ordinary day.
Now more than ever, it’s important to keep all contact surfaces of your home clean of dirt and debris and germ-free. Even the smallest kids can help — and will even have fun — spraying and wiping table tops with disinfectant. You can use a soap and water solution or combine vinegar and water with essential oils for a fresh scent. If you use commercial cleaners, just have your kids don rubber gloves to avoid having skin contact with these substances.
The bathroom is definitely a frequently used room of your home that needs daily disinfecting. Because it’s such a damp room where gross things happen, this is one of the more likely areas where germs are likely to spread.
Keep homeschooled kids busy – teach them the basics of wiping down the sink and tub. They can also clean the toilet with a disinfectant cleaner and Windex the mirror. Don’t forget to have your kids dispose of cleaning rags properly. They should also thoroughly wash their hands with soap and water after cleaning the bathroom.
Vacuuming Around the House
Enlist older kids to help you push the vacuum around once or twice per week at a minimum. Have them help the younger brothers and sisters pitch in by picking up things from the carpet. Stray items could result in a broken vacuum belt.
For deeper cleaning and to remove pet odors from the rugs, let kids lightly sprinkle your carpets with baking soda. Then get the younger ones to walk and stomp all over the carpet to grind in the cleaning soda. Let it sit for an hour or two so the baking soda can do its job of absorbing odors. Finally, have your big kids vacuum the rugs for a cleaner, fresher home.
Taking out the Garbage and Recycling
One easy task for the preteens and teens of the family is managing garbage and recycling. On the night before pickup, tell your children to go around and collect trash from all the bedroom and bathroom garbage pails. The kids would transfer those smaller bags into the larger bag of garbage that’s in the kitchen. Have them take everything to the outside trash receptacle. Then, remove and relocate any recyclables to the outside recycling bin.
Breaking up the monotony of schoolwork while at home makes the day more interesting. Your children need to learn these life skills for themselves. And it makes your life a bit easier especially during this period of quarantine!
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Loving Life — The Reboot!