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7 tips for kids at home: Helping my middle schooler (and me) during COVID-19

Being at home day after day during the COVID Crisis is tough on kids, especially for an only child. Even though I’m “just” a stepparent, I still want what most parents wants for their kids: for them to be happy.

So I tried to think of some ways to make the stay-at-home during the pandemic easier on my kid. Here are the things I came up with:

1. Lunch with a friend — Set up FaceTime lunch with one of his school friends – They’ve done that 3 times now and it’s becoming a nice habit for them.

2. Play catch — Taken catch breaks to play football with him. These breaks are good for both of us. My job as a writer/content strategist is very sedentary. I will sit at my computer for hours if I lose track of time. So now, my stepson has started to come and get me, saying, “It’s time for a catch break.” And my spiral is actually getting pretty decent. We also have been playing catching with a baseball, which is helping me cope with the fact that we don’t know when the MLB and Minnesota Twins will be back or if we’ll miss the whole 2020 season, which had been slated to be a good one.

3. Outdoor activities — We just put up a basketball hoop in the back on the garage. So now we can play some of my old favorites such as PIG and HORSE.

4. Breakdown and allow some social media — We let him have one more social media app – so he had TikTok and we let him add one more: Snapchat.

5. Subscribe to virtual games — He has a subscription to XBox live so he can play virtually with his friends.

6. Arrange a virtual sleepover — We had a virtual sleepover with his cousins and they watched a movie together (on a Netflix viewing party) and just hung out with FaceTime.

7. Break the rules — Who hasn’t heard this (or said this): Don’t play catch in the house! Well — this isn’t exactly catch, but we set up a cornhole game in the living room and it was SUPER FUN.

Well, I hope these ideas help!

What have you been doing to keep kids connected and help everyone in the house stay sane?

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