Khalil Griffin – a sports educator, personal trainer, and dad – on how to manage our new lives

how to build your family's emotional resilience and keep our bodies strong

As we begin to bunker down and get adjusted to this quarantine life, parents are being faced with a challenge that we could not foresee, schools are closed. With the continuous spread of the COVID-19 and social distancing, trying to obtain our daily lives can be difficult. Our kids are used to keeping a schedule throughout the week, as well as the parents. Keeping our bodies active and our minds stimulated will help pass the time, and also cope with the situation at hand. In the article, we will go over ways to manage our new lives for the time being.

Keep a daily schedule and routine – it will help you to go on, day after day, when you have so much on your mind

Our kids are used to keeping a schedule and following procedures at school. Having a schedule with your kids at home will give you some time to manage work, and keep them stimulated with a different task through the day. Remember it’s ok to miss your daily schedule and routine when you have a bad day – don’t feel bad. The next day – when you have more energy – you will get back on track.

Keep expanding and nurturing yours and your children’s interests and hobbies – it will keep your kids away from the screen (and the parents away from the news)

Select material that is important for your kids to keep them educationally driven and fun subjects to keep them entertained. For example, my son is five and has handwriting, mathematics, and phonics daily. He enjoys breakdancing, so instead of his lesson being twice a week with an instructor, it’s now five times a week from tutorials on YouTube. Applying your kids’ hobbies into their daily tasks will keep them entertained and away from the screen.

Keep control of what’s on your children’s screens (and yours) 

Since we are spending more time at home, television programs and cartoons are more available to us. Whether we are freelance workers parents or going into the office on a 9-5, we all have the challenge of creating a work environment with our surrounding kids. Many parents feel as their kid(s) have had more screen time because of the recent schedule adapting. Remember, it’s just the beginning and you are still in control. Research the content your child is watching (for example by checking the reviews). Check and decide if it is something that will benefit your child and keep them engaged?

Keep your children’s body strong and exercise – it will decrease the likelihood of the “stay at home blues”

A certain truth is that with being quarantined at home families are spending more time sitting at the table eating, screen time, and small talk. We shouldn’t forget that active children are able to concentrate better. Exercise and movement improve mental health and is excellent for brain function. It can help keep children to be emotionally stable, reduces levels of anxiety, and decreases the likelihood of the “stay at home blues”. As a sports and movement educator/personal trainer/dad, I believe that moving with our kids will bring intrinsic rewards as we see them progress in movement first hand. Keeping our bodies and immune system strong will help fight from COVID-19.

Keep your children’s (virtual) social interactions and stay in contact

Being quarantined can feel lonely, but we’re all in the same situation. Having FaceTime for your kids with their friends will help them relate to each other and cope with staying inside. As expats, we have family all over the world and it helps to keep family openly communicating during these times using digital tools. Screen time to provide social interaction with family and friends is very important and can be done throughout the week – stay in contact.

Relax your children’s body and mind – practice meditation

After your kids’ daily movement, relax their body and mind. Practice meditation can benefit the whole family and can be practiced together. By modeling this healthy behavior, parents can further ensure that their children will pick up healthy coping techniques and wellness methods. It can easily be deduced that by learning meditation as a child, the child is set in the right direction to understand their thoughts, feelings, and their physical relationship within the body – building emotional and psychological resilience.

While our lives are changing rapidly, most importantly we keep our loved ones safe. Do your part with social distancing, staying home, and keeping clean. Stay safe and keep moving!

About the Author

Khalil Griffin – Functional Specialist for Adidas Runners Warsaw and Sports/movement enthusiast from Atlanta, Georgia.

Past college athlete and gym owner that has been living in Warsaw for the past 5 years as a family man and Personal Trainer.

Khalil is also a head coach at Move4Life – Corporate Wellness.
Move4Life has now launched their own Online Fitness and Wellness platform, offering online classes for kids and adults alike, webinars and more.
For more information visit their Facebook.

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