WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Elizabeth Palace is trying to plan a fun, but simple spring break at home with her two young boys and husband.
“I still have to work. I can’t stop working, so part of that is figuring out how to work that in,” she said. “My son is just learning without training wheels, so we are going to do a lot of practice with that.”
Caley Kukla, a local mom and a child development specialist/parent coach said the simplest activities make the sweetest moments for children. She said if you want to do a DIY camp, that’s great. Kukla also said it is OK to lower the urgency by planning a single activity a day.
“Fact of the matter is, we are a year into this pandemic, we’re tired,” she said. “It’s been quite a ride, and we have to be gentle with ourselves.”
Kukla said her top three pieces of advice are to create a visual calendar for the family, lower expectations, and use screen time accordingly.
“Use screen time as a tool,” she said, adding it’s permissible to put a TV show on for the kids when there is something important you have to get done.
“Being aware of when you have to detach from the kiddos, you have to disconnect,” said Kukla. “Make sure you buffer that with some connection.”
Kuala said bottom line, stick to the basics.
“Here is your permission to give your kids the most simple things to play with,” she said. “Cardboard boxes, string, water in cups. It could be something really simple like eating a meal outside or ordering pizza and movie night.”
Kuala said she always comes back to the importance of the visual calendar in a high traffic area, like on the refrigerator.
“We all get on the same page,” she said. “It does not have to be fancy. In that visual schedule, giving them something to look forward to and it doesn’t have to be Disney World.”
Kukla said always follow the golden rule of parenting.
“The quality of time always matters more than the quantity,” she said. “So it doesn’t count if you sit at the table while your kids are coloring, and you are on your phone.”