Julie McIsaac
March 20, 2020

Stuck at home? Our kids tell us how we can do it better

I know I’m not the only one desperately trying to figure out our new normal. As parents, we are getting advice from educators, professionals, other parents, scientists, literally everybody.

[Image Description: A white 10 year old girl and a white 7 year old boy are lying in a blanket fort smiling towards the camera. The girl has straight, blonde hair and is wearing a grey shirt. The boy has sandy, blonde curly hair and is wearing a whi…

At Exceptional Lives, we know this is unchartered territory and we are working hard to sift through the links and pages of resources to help you help your family.  For more on how to make the best of our time home-bound with your child with high-needs, please check out our resources and tips.

We are all doing our best

I know I’m not the only one desperately trying to figure out our new normal. As parents, we are getting advice from educators, professionals, other parents, scientists, literally everybody. People are offering services online and free tours of awesome places. It’s amazing! And completely overwhelming.

So we went to the real experts; our kids. Here’s what they had to say:

Ruthie (4): You could be kind and loveable.

Georgia (4): Eat good food and play with Polly pockets.

Elizabeth (4): TV and grilled cheese every day!

Evelyn (4): Let me choose what we do, even watch tv and eat candy.

Ruth (5): We all work as a team and we all be nice to each other. And mommy and daddy have to be nice to each other. And my brother and me. So, any questions?

Xavi (5): I really like to stay inside because it’s like a weekend and I can play Minecraft all day.

Gioia (5): Play video games and have fun!

Eli (6): Just bake all day long.

Julian (6): No idea…OHOH I KNOW! Eat healthy foods.

Henry (6): Keep busy and play with dinosaurs.

Theo (6): Let us play video games and we should play monopoly. Is dinner ready?

Ellie (6): Eat ice cream, play a board game, play with your dog, and open your mail over there-that’s all that I know.

Desmond (6): Make good food three times a day.

Abigail (7):  Do lots of activities like art and maybe even some math. Your kids will want to show you how smart they are now that you are their teacher. Remember to go outside a little bit everyday, and do some yoga. Fresh air and getting stronger is important. It makes the days happier. Do something that makes you calm too, art is really fun the adults should try too.

Jen (7): Advise to stop reading the news, stop reading email and put the phones away!!

Audrey (7): Outside time, some time on your own, try to stay away from older people. Be yourself– pretend there isn’t a problem. And don’t keep buying toilet paper.

Zachary (7): Play games, watch TV, eat, sleep.

Gavin (almost 8): Eat popcorn and have movie nights.

Caleb (8): Be more patient.

Marc (8): Treat us well and wash your hands like you tell us.

Katie (8): Make it fun. like, teach us inside a giant fort.

Gavin (8): Take turns working for 2hrs and playing with us for 2hrs (both parents trying to work from home with three children also home).

Chantal (9): Stay home, work from home if you can.

Abbey (9): Play lots of board games with us and we should start a family band.

Benny (9): Just stay strong and remember that we’re all in this together.

Nicholas (10): Give work to your kids, but give them breaks too, and when it’s close to dinner. Don’t make them do work (as he is getting his only youtube access of the day).

Spencer (10): Make a white board of goals and if you work hard and reach 80% of your goals by Friday, you get 1-2hrs of fun Friday where they do a fun activity.

Owen (10): Go on walks and stay away from where people go. Teach us a lot of stuff but also make sure we play outside and have fun. Do activities like puzzles, lego, board games, reading.

Lucy (11): Give the kids some activities. Have dinner all together. And you DO NOT have to be with me all the time. I need alone time too!

Taevin (11): There’s stuff we can do inside of the house that we can’t do outside and we can just make fun instead of going somewhere.

Jameson (11): *shrug* Drawing is helping.

Agnes (12): They can’t. Hide from the children? Have extra patience.

Lindsay (12): Don’t panic.

Natalie (12): Put us all in the basement, set us up a workstation, leave us there. Watch a movie…oh and have popcorn…oh and let us have other snacks…

Sarah (12): Don’t lecture me about making tiktoks, let me order stuff from amazon, build a fort and have a movie night.

Maren (12): Cheese puffs and a large supply of books.

Trey (12): Make sure you buy everything we need.

Evelyn (12): Don’t keep your kids inside! Set up video calls so kids can see friends.

Chloe (13.5): Make sure that you’re spending time with your kids (and this is coming from a teenager, so, like, *tongue click*).

Abigael (14):  Make sure the kids have space from each other sometimes.

Sam (14): Long sigh, no comment. (for once, sheesh)

Harper (15): Understand this is the first time our generation is going through something like this. So we may not understand the seriousness of the situation. Please don’t lash out if we are making jokes because that’s how we are coping.

Sharae (16): Cooking together, board games, and respectfully giving each other distance when needed.

Rachel (17): uuuuuuhhhhhh, ugh, open your windows. (she has two smelly brothers)

And finally, Elena, 6, “ummm, not really but you’re already good parents.”

So there you have it. We’ve heard from the experts. So be with them, see them, be patient…and have fun!

Go check in with your kids. We’ll be here.

  • Julie McIsaac, Ph.D.

    Child Development and Disability Advisor

    Julie specializes in working with children and families with diverse developmental profiles She uses reflective practice, emotion-coaching, play and a relationship-based framework to support skill building in the areas of emotional-regulation and problem-solving. Julie consults with families, schools and community organizations. As a parent, she understands the need to have a cohesive team supporting a child and family.

    Profile Photo of Julie McIsaac
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