The virus has changed our lives forever and taken us back to a time when life was simpler, less hectic. Parents were home more. Children saw their parents more during the day.

Believe it or not, the change is a step forward to a better life. Open your minds and hearts. Remember when we (especially the over-60-year-olds) were children, and our families lived closer. In comparison to yesterday, parents actually raised their children without outside daycare. Families including brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and grandmothers helped to raise children.

My grandmother and her family lived right next door. As children, we (I and my six

brothers and sisters) actually ran back and forth between the two apartments. Every older relative instructed us on how to behave and how to live. While meals were being prepared, we were all in the kitchen helping or playing under the kitchen table. “Get me an onion, potato, green pepper or carrot out of the ice box.” Of course, we often brought back the wrong vegetable, but that’s how we learned to identify various foods. We usually overheard family conversations around the dinner table, because our family ate what we ate, at the same time, at the same table. Our parents showed us how to set a table, have table manners, how to cook, and how to talk during mealtime. We learned about music from our parents and how to clean, and take care of ourselves.

Our uncles, aunts and cousins played games like hide and seek, chess, checkers, cards, and marbles with us. We loved having our parents home when we were small. They both worked nights and they were home when we came home from school.

As we grew we studied the adults around us. We wanted to be like them. These new times may provide tips to make working at home with kids easier:

  1. Establish a 90-minute morning and 90-minute afternoon routine.

  2. Schedule play time.

  3. Use timers (phone, timers, hourglasses).

  4. Serve fruits instead of sugary foods and drinks.

  5. Make deals with good stuff, like a movie instead of a nap, if they listen.

  6. If they are under 10 years old, do your work alongside them.

  7. Check in with older students regularly to make certain they are on track. Ask if they need help.

  8. Keep a basket for phones while kids are working on school assignments.

  9. Establish a clear work space.

  10. Encourage digital/online socializing through games. Make playlists, use Facetime and Google Hangouts to connect with friends and family.

  11. At the end of each work session, take 20 minutes to plan their next session.

  12. Have fun with your kids, with writing, reading, science, math, make slime, oobleck, dough, rock candy and cookies.

As parents, explore this new day. Be creative, considerate, calm, safe and healthy. Spread love, kindness and peace.