Making it work best with routine

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images
It’s strange times. Normally midmorning on a Sunday, or sometimes a Monday, I grab a coffee, head to my desk and, while I wait for Microsoft Word to open, I flick through bits of research that have popped up recently and the odd relevant news item. Then I write my column for the following weekend.

But today there’s nothing on my desk but one news and one research topic and, with the speed of events, no knowing how much of it will be relevant by Saturday. There’ve already been many articles about how to keep the kids happy and yourself sane during our time in our bubble.

So, for the very first time, I’m a bit stuck for a different but relevant topic.

However, having had a further coffee, I’ve reached the conclusion that it has to be ... Covid-19.

School work: two or three hours a day max. You might even get away with it during the ‘‘school holidays’’ component. There’s tons of different and interesting stuff online to supplement anything from school.

Routines: They’re good. School time. Morning break. A chore. Lunch. Downtime. Family exercise/walk/bear-hunt time. Afternoon break time. Games/puzzle time. Dinner. Storytime. Bed.

Variations: Gardening, learning to bake and movie time.

Working from home: Build in your hours according to what you have to do. Can you stagger the hours if you’re both working? The kids don’t necessarily need minute-by-minute managing but it allows the ‘‘worker’’ to focus and not to worry about what else is going on.

Current events: Leave the daily reports out of it. They know why we’re all at home. That’s enough for most, teenagers excepted. You could talk about all those people helping to keep us safe, not just health services, but all essential workers.

How well does the family know each other: We know when someone has to be somewhere for sports practice; needs new shoes; doesn’t like this food; hates that television programme; or has made the netball team. We know the immediate and practical, yet in many other ways family members can almost be complete strangers.

Youngsters can spend much time in their own electronic world, as can so many of us nowadays, along with the many other things that crowd in on us. Interaction can often be minimal.

Here’s a test. Do our kids know what we wanted to be when we grew up? Do they know the origin of our middle name? Have they seen our childhood photos? Do we know what our kids’ best memories are? Or their worries?

Now is the opportune time when the family is together to chat, to share memories, to laugh, to commiserate, and to plan family things to do post-bubble.

 - Ian Munro 

Add a Comment

Local journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Otago Daily Times reporters and photographers continue to bring you the stories that matter. For more than 158 years our journalists have provided readers with local news you can trust. This is more important now than ever.

As advertising drops off during the pandemic, support from our readers is crucial. You can help us continue to bring you news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter