Whether it’s a global pandemic or summer vacation, being at home for an extended period can drive you a little nutty. This time at home with your family really is a blessing, but you really need to be intentional.
So, here are four targets you can aim toward to make this time more enjoyable.
1. Share the purpose.
We all need to feel useful. You can really only go so many days without accomplishing anything before you start to feel gloomy. Write a list of jobs that need to be done around the house that you usually don’t have time to do. Don’t overwhelm everyone by saying, “Today we will clean out all closets!” Keep it simple. Clean out a drawer. Give everyone one small task to accomplish each day.
2. Keep it fresh.
Are you tired of seeing the same thing everyday? Change it! Rearrange your living room. It’s crazy how just moving some furniture around will make the space feel new. Try new recipes or give each child a day to be in charge of feeding the family, with some parameters in place! Learn a new skill – You Tube can teach you anything. Grab some yarn and search “finger weaving”. Find a big piece of elastic and search “Chinese jump rope”.
3. Have something to look forward to.
It doesn’t have to be something big, just make it a big deal. For instance, Thursday night at 7:00 we are going to have family game night and eat popcorn. Make a sign and have some balloons. Let kids choose some games ahead of time, or surprise them with a game. Wrap the game box and leave it on the table for a few days to build anticipation. We all need something to look forward to.
4. Cultivate quality quiet time.
In our normal busy schedules, time to be quiet and reflect gets squeezed out. Make sure everyone in your family is spending some time with God. It can be all together or for older kids, each person alone. Having kids journal is a great way to keep them focused. I would also suggest a designated time for everyone to be alone for a time each day. We all need some space. It is so valuable for kids to have time to process and be creative. During the summers when my kids were home we had about an hour and a half after lunch where the kids had to be in their rooms. They could do anything that wasn’t electronic – read, play LEGO, whatever—as long as they were alone with their own thoughts.