Scheduling Your Teen Through COVID-19: Suggestions from our Parents.

 

 

Uh oh. You and your teen are cooped up in your apartment. You can’t send them outside, or to school, or even to the movies. Many of us have decided to try to make a schedule (example below). Here’s some scheduling tips to keep your teen occupied-- if you can convince them to keep a schedule, that is! 

 

 

EXERCISE-- Do it everyday, preferably from 45 minutes to an hour. 

LEARNING-- Try to spend an hour learning something new. Maybe it’s not strictly academic-- maybe it’s just learning how to use iMovie, or playing guitar. Regardless, don’t try to force a huge academic regimen. Once the DOE begins remote learning, your teen will have plenty to do. 

LIMIT SCREEN TIME-- Again, don’t take this too seriously. Just an hour with no screens every day is a huge victory!  

PROJECTS-- One member encourages her son to work on something that adds value-- either to his life, or to the life of someone else. Maybe this is a letter, a piece of art, a TikTok. 

CONNECTION-- Encourage your teen to reach out to someone that they wouldn’t normally. Gen Z is used to being super connected, but maybe this is an opportunity to put down Instagram for twenty minutes and call Grandma. 

 

Here’s a sample schedule from Jen, one of our members: 

*DEAR= Drop Everything and Read

 

 

Here’s the bottom line-- enjoy the small victories. Your teen (and you!) are still adapting to these new circumstances. As one of our members put it: “I'm personally declaring victory if all 3 of us + the dog make it through each day intact without killing each other.”

 

Need a laugh? Here’s another example schedule, drafted by Leslie, one of our parents. 

 

Our teen schedule is easy and takes almost no effort to enforce...

 

    1. Wake up as late as possible so that your freelance parents can get at least a couple hours to try figure out how they are going to pay the bills for the next month with no work.

    2. Get up and eat a healthy breakfast of Ego waffles or everything bagels that mom stockpiled from La Bagel Delight and froze. Definitely don't eat fruit or anything grown in the earth as it may be contaminated.

    3. Complain about being bored.

    4. Refuse to take a shower even though everyone says you smell.

    5. Start playing the Switch while also hopping on FaceTime with friends to talk about all the amazing things your characters are doing in their virtual worlds.

    6. Fight with your siblings when they interrupt you because you are hogging all the outlets in the room.

    7. Laugh at mom who tells you how "exciting this remote learning can be."

    8. Roll your eyes at dad whom seems so excited to show you how Zoom works because he finally learned how to use it at work.

    9. Have a grilled cheese.

    10. Complain about being bored.

    11. Hop back on FaceTime because it's been at least 20 minutes since you have "seen" your friends.

    12. Think about going outside but decide that the weather is nicer in your virtual world and you can make your character run which counts as exercise.

    13. Send your mom to Mr Lime to buy another case of LaCroix.

    14. Yell at your siblings because they are watching TikToc on full volume with no headphones and it is making you nauseous.

    15. Listen to dad yell at everyone to "shut up!" while he is on the phone with the bank.

    16. Complain about being bored.

    17. Realize the sun is setting and you can't go out for fresh air because the city is on curfew. Maybe tomorrow you can try again.

    18. Hop back on Facetime to tell your friends what a busy day you had.

    19. Heat up a frozen pizza. Skip any vegetables since they may be contaminated.

    20. Think about taking a shower before bed but decide to take one tomorrow instead.

    21. Realize there is no point in changing out of your PJ's because it is 9pm.

    22. Look on Instagram to catch up on the "news".

    23. Wait for dad scream at you, "if you don't go to bed by midnight you will get the Coronavirus!"

    24. It's 11:50 pm so you decide to get some work done.

    25. Do 5 min of math by logging onto Google classroom and counting the posts. Take another 5 minutes to read the posts.

    26. Yell at your parents, "you don't understand how stressful this is!"

    27. Get to bed at midnight, just in case dad is right.

 

Feel free to borrow our routine for your kids. It works!