Welcome to my crazy house in LockDown!!! Yes, we have been fortunate enough, not to have been in this state of emergency up until now. But… Yea, Miss Corona has found us…
We are doing great overall because we have been doing remote learning since last March. So routine for us hasn’t changed all that much. However, we are now in winter; yes, it’s a much warmer January than most years in eastern Ontario, but we still have a blanket of snow and ice everywhere, our Pugs just hate the cold and we can barely get them steps away from the bottom steps to pee. So walking the dogs has been pretty much non-existent.
Remote learning has been going as smoothly as expected for Cam; he is still doing Synchronized learning (where he watches his teacher through the T.V. his T.V. is hocked up as a monitor for his computer) and is doing well, he shows up on time way more often than he ever did for in-person classes. Like in-person classes, we have sick days, mental health days and “snow days,” and it’s been a blessing for him.
On the other hand, Sarah is doing Asynchronized learning (school materials not lead by a teacher). Which is great, wonderful except that because of her IEP / ICRP and learning style. I’m the teacher! Which is fine-ish; it just takes up a lot of my “me” time, and at this point, momma needs a break. On a good note, I actually found a way to help her understand her materials easier, so ya, I’m taking that pat on the back!
Outside of “class”, they still need stuff to do, after school activities, extracurriculars, art clubs and so on. So guess who is in charge of those? Yup, moi!
These are my top 3 ideas, that keep my teens occupied, inspired & focused during the pandemic and also helps keep my sanity in check!! Yes, absolutely tech, and here is why…
1. SOCIALIZATION: How do my teen socialize with their friends and make new friends during the pandemic lockdown? You guessed it! Social media, video games and, you bet, YouTube. They both have phones, computers and tablets. They both have Facebook, Instagram and Cam also has Twitter! They play multiplayer video games such as Among Us, Fall Guys, Fortnite, Minecraft, and Roblox. They communicate with other kids and teens through their headsets, which also have a mic. They have become closer to their friends, peers at school as well as good friends with kids across the globe, such as Europe, Mexico, Texas, Brazil and the USA. They text, video chat and game together every single day.
*Yes Sarah has come across some adults, but I taught her how to be safe and how to block anyone she has no interest in from following her as well as reporting any content that makes her feel uncomfortable (been nearly a year and has only happened once). She follows kids her age and they follow her back. Keeping open communication about the dangers of inappropriate content goes a long way and gives them a sense of maturity and trust.
#2. YOUTUBE: Started a YouTube channel for the family (truly is a full-time job). Between planning, filming, research and editing it’s definitely been an adventure.
Cam is 16 he has started live-streaming his video games every weekend so that doesn’t only keep him busy on the weekends but also gives him something to look forward to as well! Gaming With Cameron when he is live streaming he is playing with friends and making new friends, feeling a sense of pride and ownership. As he gains more and more views, every time he plays, which is very inspiring for him and motivates him to want to up his game, learn more jokes and practice his skills in gaming is also teaching him to be persistent.
Sarah is 12 and has a blog “Me And My Unique Family” and two YouTube Channels Gaming Like A Girl and Sarah Leiann so that also takes up her weekends as well as her free time after school in lockdown; since there are no visitors, nothing is open etc. Every blog or vlog she creates gives her a sense of pride, inspiration, boosts her confidence and builds up her creativeness, improves are writing and language skills.
#3. VIDEOGAMES: Yes I have no limit on how much they game! They know when they need a break, they know when they need to go outside and get fresh air, They know if they don’t bring down their dirty dishes and trash the pets will either make a mess or they will get fruit flies and simply run out of dishes, lol (natural consequence work!).
Video Games do a lot more than “rot your child’s brain” It boosts cognitive skills, self-control, spatial navigation, reasoning and more! What some moms sometimes don’t realize is that the majority of gamers are actually moms! Mostly every mom has a video game or two on their phone! Ya those count and those are great stress releases too!
- Hand-eye coordination
- Social skills and confidence
- Building friendships
- Life skills
- Imaginative Play and Creativity
- Logic and strategic thinking
- Exploring Careers and so much more!
With that being said everything comes with balance. My kiddos still help with preparing meals, taking care of pets, putting their laundry away etc. No it’s absolutely not to get them out of my hair. I am there, I’m in their messages, in their live chats, editing their videos, doing their hair, tucking them in bed so the headsets can charge!! We take walks together, we eat together, we make crafts and get messy together. It’s how you manage your day is what helps the most.
Yes, I understand for parents who work outside of the house, this can be a challenge, but like I said, join their chants, comment in their live streams, join in a game or two only takes a few seconds. Be there when you get home. Talk about their day and let them have fun while they learn and grow into modern adults with above basic computer skills 😉
I have more information about kids and tech on my Pinterest as well as calm positive parenting.
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