When Spring Fever, really means, Spring FEVER
Liz Pearce, Director of Parent Engagement
Children's Museum of Richmond
· So Junior woke up sick today, and you’ve got a mile-long list of things to do??
First of all, DON’T Panic. When they are sick at home, some TLC is definitely in order, and depending on the age of your child and severity of the illness, you may need to be in the same room with your child, but it’s okay to plan activities for them that they can do on their own, without help from you.
By the way, it’s not necessary to park them in front of the TV for 10 hours either. Everything in moderation is a good motto for the sick day.
A few ideas:
1. Brainstorm some quiet activities that can be done in bed with a few modifications.
a. Play dough, jigsaw puzzles, coloring and building blocks work great when you have a tray with raised edges, or use the top of a cardboard box.
b. Choose something that is easy for your child to do, and won’t frustrate him when he’s not feeling great – this is not the time to offer a toy or puzzle that is above his level.
c. Check out the various arts and craft websites, such as Crayola, for printable activities
d. Dig through the bottom of the toy box, or back of the closet for lost treasures or hidden gems that may not have gotten playtime yet.
2. Let your child know when you will have undivided attention time for them, whether it’s every hour for the first 10 minutes, or checking in on them periodically. For younger children, set a timer that they can see or hear.
3. Pick up a project that can be started and stopped at leisure. Got 100 photos that need to go in an album? Enlist your older child to help you put them in the album. NOTE: Let go of the outcome … they won’t be organized as you might have liked, but they will be in an album.
4. Have older kids? Let them organize the music on your Ipod, or photos on your computer by season, or subject, or date. (Whether they admit it or not, many kids love looking through old pictures.)
5. Use your child’s sick day as a moment to slow down yourself. Embrace the forced opportunity to prioritize, and take a few minutes to discover what your critical tasks are, and which ones can be delegated or deleted.
Above all, remember that the sick day won’t last forever, and you’ll be back to your manic schedule in no time.