How can a family reduce stress during this time of uncertainty? What can help keep or bring happiness to your family during the COVID-19 crisis or anytime?

With so many schools suspending classes there are some steps we can take as a family to make life easier, streamline activities and ultimately reduce stress and keep a family organized. Over the next few days, I will share how these simple steps can help keep children productive now and when the crisis passes.

checklist

  • Sit down together as a family and create a simple checklist of things that need to be done in the morning to get ready (or later on activities throughout the day).
    1. This list can include what each child needs to do daily to get ready for school in the morning, or tasks to be done around the home while out of school.
    2. The list should be built together with input from the children and the adults.
    3. The list can include simple things like: get dressed, eat breakfast, brush your teeth or put the dishes away.
  • Once your list is completed, post it prominently on the refrigerator or kitchen wall.
  • When a child becomes “unproductive,” tell them to “go check the list.”
    1. The children will become responsive to this technique & begin to reference the list themselves or to each other.
  • Such a list should help to reduce the need to repeat directions and allow the children to focus on a single task at a time until it is completed.
    1. A list helps give the children the independence they need to complete their morning activities.

Below is a sample morning checklist. Your list can be whatever you and your family decides is important. The key is to start simple and then review from time to time. Then new responsibilities can be added.

Self-Directed Morning Checklist

  1. Take Vitamins or medicine
  2. Eat breakfast
  3. Shower or wash face and neck
  4. Take care of your hair
  5. Do morning chores
  6. Brush your teeth (2 minutes)
  7. Backpack, shoes, and socks
  8. Update information boards

What are you having for lunch today?

What are you taking to school today?

What are you forgetting?

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