Being locked up 24/7 with your family during this Coronavirus quarantine can be the ultimate test of patience, endurance, and problem solving ability. After living 3 weeks together in close quarters, you may have seen or felt the devil come out, a few times too often. The kids are at each other’s throats, you’re losing focus, the walls are closing in, and suddenly you feel overwhelmed and beyond exhausted. How do you manage another week or another month of this?

Here are tips to managing a crisis at home while in quarantine:

  1. Pick and choose your arguments. Sometimes, it’s best to let the kids settle down themselves. Often times, getting the attention of parents results in temper tantrums, he say she say blame games, and then you’re stuck choosing sides. Try going to another room, and let it die down on its own. 

  2. Reward good behavior. Make two distinct lists, examples of good vs bad behavior and place it on the refrigerator. Kids react better to visual cues. Redirect towards the positive. Say, I didn’t like that response or action, next time, if you try acting this way, everyone would be happier, and if that’s the case, we will do a family ice cream sundae treat. Let them know ahead of time, what happens if someone chooses bad behavior. 

  3. Keep kids busy. Look for various remote entertainment sites and learning sites. There are even remote fitness and sports sites. Did you know, there’s even a remote swim or remote piano lessons? Go to NJ KIDS’s virtual pages where we’ve consolidated online sites for kids lessons and simulated classroom instruction direct from NJ businesses that have quickly transformed themselves to deliver remote classes and enrichment programs. 

  4. Set up important family time and find something that you can do as a family. Set up a net in the yard, and take out the badminton set, volleyball, tennis or rackets. Keep the family entertained and moving. Turn the music up and lights on and have a dance party, anything to turn the mood around. Karaoke Night?  Cook together, and see who is the top chef. Experiment with breakfast, lunch and dinner. Of course, adjust based on age appropriateness. This is a time to invest in your family.

  5. Coffee break in the car may be the right combo. Sit in your car, and take calls, listen to music and chill out. 

  6. Need help? Seek out a remote family counseling session. There are professionals ready and able to guide you through this most difficult time. Link to family help.

  7. Laugh out loud!  Because this whole situation is out of this world! It's no one's fault. 

  8. If all else fails, take a 'time out' yourself. 

So how is your family managing during this crisis?  TAKE A QUICK POLL and share your experience.