Education

Changing Perspectives When Your Freedom is Limited

As my husband told me of the new stay at home guidelines for the next 30 days due to the efforts to slow down this nasty virus, something shifted in my mind. I love my home and family, and it’s where I enjoy spending most of my time. But I always knew I had the freedom to easily change perspectives and scenery if I wanted. Even during long winter months of homeschooling and bad weather, we could study at a coffee shop, library, or bookstore. We could go visit friends, take a day trip, or walk a museum. But immediately upon hearing the news, I felt constricted. My perspective changed. And in the next month there will be days that we long to go places and see people; to live freely. Our kids will need to have moments of distinction in their days and weeks. How can we create that within our given spaces during this time? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Rearrange spaces or items in your home to make it feel fresh and new. It may just be as simple as cleaning out a space that is cluttered. It could be putting out spring items around the house. If you have access, put some flowers on the table. Let the kids move their bedroom furniture around to get a new perspective. Small changes can make big impacts in how we feel in a space.

  • Take indoor activities outside. If you have hammocks or tents, set them up in the backyard or on a deck. Have a picnic breakfast or a late night snack with flashlights. You could use blankets and hang them over tree limbs to make teepees or makeshift tents. Create a cozy reading spot or secret club. Let them do their homework in places besides a desk or kitchen table if possible. Let them feel freedom in their own spaces!

  • Have moments of “just because” where you throw the schedule out the window and do something they don’t normally get to do or isn’t planned out. Go to a drive-thru for coffee or donuts for the older kids…eat dessert first…anything that takes the day from ordinary to unexpected!

  • If you need them to run off energy and are contained to your yard or even indoor space, create a challenge of some sort. My kids would get bored with their swing set and didn’t want to go outside, but if I challenged them to make an obstacle course they would get excited. We would time each other…even me…to see how fast we could complete the courses they each designed. They used hula hoops to jump through, slides to climb up and over, jump ropes to create long jumps, cones or other objects to run around or skip through, etc. Anytime adults join in puts extra excitement into it.

  • Read or listen to audiobooks about other lands and diverse people. It helps us to remember how big the world is and see things from a different perspective.

These are just a few suggestions for making a shift in our attitudes about the confinement we may feel at times. If you have other suggestions, please share in the comments. Someone might create a wonderful memory or survive a rough day through your help!

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