Over 11.7 million kids will be in a “remote learning only” situation starting this fall, with another 3 million in a “hybrid” model (source: Education Week).

This means 14 million families need to figure out how to balance work from home (if they can), school from home, and the resulting strains this puts on their families.

While there’s certainly some great opportunities, this can lead to family stress, in an already tough year. Many parents are also concerned about the effects of additional screen time on their kids. Several studies show that there can be developmental delays with excessive screen time (source: Journal of American Pediatrics).

Here are Five Ways to Help Your Family Thrive, regardless of these circumstances:

  1. Take at Least Two, 20-minute Family Breaks a Day – Make sure you and your kiddos get away from your screens for at least two, 20-minute times a day. Make this a ritual you do together (more tips follow).
  2. Go Outside – Getting away from your work and school environment is good for your brain, heart and blood pressure. If it’s too inclimate to go outside, go in the garage, different room where you live, or somewhere where you can move around.
  3. Move – Schools have recess for many reasons – and burning off energy is certainly one of them. Get active with your kids – have a dance off, play catch, kick a soccer ball, play frisbee, do something together for this time.
  4. Do Different Things – While it’s tempting and even easy to do more things on your device, put it down. You can be without it for 20 minutes. Changing up what you do during these 20 minute breaks will make it more interesting. You can rotate daily who decides the activity or have a list you rotate through.
  5. Hydrate – Water is your friend. Have everyone drink a big glass of water after your activity (and throughout the day). If you are dehydrated, your stress hormones (cortisol) rises, making it more difficult to stay positive and in a state easier to solve issues (source: Active.com).

Yes, this environment is less than ideal, but these five little tweaks to your day can help you go from survival mode to thriving. Sometimes adversity can serve to unite and bond – lean into that!

We’d also love to be of service to your family, if that’s a fit. There are practical and proven ways to help you thrive in this time. You can find additional help from You From Home here

Sources Cited

School Districts’ Reopening Plans: A Snapshot (2020, July 15). Education Week. Retrieved Month Day, Year from https://www.edweek.org/ew/section/multimedia/school-districts-reopening-plans-a-snapshot.html

Madigan S. 2019. Association Between Screen Time and Children’s Performance on a Developmental Screening Test. JAMA Pediatrics. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2722666

Bortnick, Amy. “The Many Wonders of Water: 6 Reasons to Drink Up.” ACTIVE.com, Active.com, 10 July 2012, www.active.com/health/articles/the-many-wonders-of-water-6-reasons-to-drink-up.