By Evie Roodhouse, aged 11. Year sixer, proud Aliver and top comms pro in the making…
It’s been eleven long weeks.
Eleven weeks of missing my friends, every day being the same and my resilience being pushed to the limit. I’m still trying to study. But with a three-year-old sister who needs attention every five seconds, a younger brother who is highly spirited with different priorities to me and my parents busy, this hasn’t proved easy. It is a very difficult time for everyone, especially parents.
Children are… well let’s just say they need a lot of attention. Most parents were able to give that attention while they got their kids ready for school, then hurried them out of the door. That allowed Mums and Dads six hours of heavenly peace. Now, many schools remain closed or can only take a handful of kids, so that heavenly peace has gone out of the window.
I found out yesterday that I won’t be going back to school. Since I’m in year six, it means the end of my primary school journey. No leavers disco. No treat day. No proper goodbye. This makes me feel even worse about the situation.
We’re all struggling right now; to keep ourselves happy, to keep our children occupied, and to stay positive. Even from my point of view, I know that children aren’t always the easiest people to deal with.
It’s been a long time. People are getting desperate. We’ve gone for walks, we’ve FaceTimed friends, we’ve built dens, we’ve squared our eyes sitting in front of screens 24/7- now we need to get a bit more creative.
So, as I’ve just turned eleven, here are eleven things you can encourage your children to do to keep them- and you- occupied and happy:
- Help them achieve a goal.Something they’ve always aspired to do- or even something they never knew was a thing! Like learning a new language, cooking a tasty meal or developing a new skill.
- Arrange a Zoom call with multiple friends. The more the merrier!
- Help them do something nice for someone else. For example, writing a kind text message, email, or better yet, a letter explaining why you think they are great.
- Try new foods and drinks. A month or two into Lockdown, I discovered that actually, I did like cheesy chilli nachos! Who knew? And curry isn’t as bad as I thought!
- Have a spend up! If they have some pocket money, you can help them spend it on something nice- maybe an activity book or game that they will enjoy.
- Show gratitude. Everyday write something that they are grateful for. That could be a friend, a relative, or even chocolate- I love chocolate!
- Have a clear out! Now, I know for a fact this will appeal more to the parents than the children. But with the current situation, a nice spring clean and clear-out of bedrooms would be something to do.
- Explore your drawers. Look through drawers and cupboards and find toys or activities they haven’t used in a while.
- Dress up like Joe. Have a good sort-out of clothes- maybe buy some new outfits; beautiful, flowy dresses or suits and ties. Have a ball! Or a fashion show!
- Birthday reminders. Text friends and get their birthdays in your calendar. That way, you’ll never forget to wish someone a great lockdown birthday!
- Give them a treat. And finally, a treat every once in a while, is guaranteed to keep your children happy. My stepdad is the best milkshake-maker in the world, and sometimes we’ll get chucked a chocolate bar in the evening while we watch TV. We’re talking sugar. You can’t go wrong!
These are some of the activities that I have thought of to keep up my spirits and keep that smile on my face. I hope they have helped you like they have helped me.
Stay alert- control the virus- save lives
By Evie Roodhouse, aged 11