Updated: Jul 5
Bored kids are rarely easy to manage. And if kids are attempting to run the place, self-isolation could be a nightmare for both kids and parents alike. But alternatively self-isolating with kids at home could be a time when you can build closer relationships and create great memories... if you're smart about it.
It could be a bit like going camping and having weeks of wet weather. Not what you planned, but you can still make the best of it and have fun, just being together.
During this pandemic, rarely being able to leave the house limits what you can do to break up the monotony for your kids.
But some of us can relate.
I can remember having 25 new preschoolers starting a new year with me during three weeks of rain.
And I knew if I didn't keep them happy and engaged, those who were inclined to be challenging, would be all over me. Those who were likely to test their parents, were also inclined to test me.
So why didn't they? Or if they did, why didn't they continue to do so.
Simply put, children got less attention for being difficult and there was so much more in it for them to do the right thing.
I always had heaps of interesting things to do so it was more fun to cooperate.
I wanted them to be positive about learning so I focused on every positive I could find about their efforts to learn.
e.g. I focused on the best sentence written on their page and explained why that was particularly good. That identified what quality work was. And as a result I got better quality work... For younger kids, it may be as simple as commenting on the best letter formation. E.g. straight backs on letters of equal size.
So if you're stuck at home and there are generally kids screaming and running around the place it's likely they may not have enough to do. And it can increase the overall levels of stress in the household.
But with a little planning you could turn what is currently a difficult time into a positive time with your kids. One where you build your relationships rather than be saddened by them.
Improvements can be made with the introduction of:
simple routines: Kids love predictability. They like to know things like after an activity is completed there will hygiene then a snack break. After less stimulating activities there will be something more exciting.
the provision of interesting things to do: Kids love to be actively engaged learners.
Things to Do With Kids While Self-Isolating At Home During Pandemic:
boundaries for behaviour:
Kids need clear boundaries so they know how to behave (e.g. using inside voices, using walking feet inside, saying please and thank you all keeps the tone of the house calm and relationships smooth.)
Expectations need to be discussed ahead of time so kids know exactly what's expected. e.g If they choose to be difficult and not complete school tasks the natural consequences would be they'd miss out on privileges; having to use the time they should have used earlier, to complete work.
noticing the positive: Kids crave attention. You are wise to give it to them for doing the right thing.
By noticing the good in any of us, it makes us feel good about ourselves, regardless of how old we are. Our children love to know we see the best in them.
Kids need to know you're reliable. If you're happy and funny one day, yet losing it the next, it unnerves kids. It makes them more on edge and the tone of the home more stressful. There is an excellent article on this site called 6 Steps for Improving Behaviour that may assist you. Go to
This pandemic can provide an opportunity to build positive relationships and happy memories with your children. It's perfectly fine for you to still expect some time to yourself.
And the happier your children are, and the better they feel about themselves, the more likely they are to give it to you.
Self-isolation at home may provide you the time to lead your family into more cooperative, calmer ways of relating so that your home is a happy one.
If you're home schooling remember: You're attempting to create a positive attitude to learning for life. Having high pressure to complete an activity, to an adult standard, may not be conducive to a positive attitude.
And if your child is not behaving well it's okay to say to them. "I'm not being a good parent if I let you think it's okay to behave like that. We both know you're so much better than that... Are you having trouble with something? Can I help you?"
There are 20 articles on behaviour management on Best Parenting Advice.com that can help you if you're having trouble. Check them out.