Five Fun Family Activities For Lockdown
“Familiarity breeds contempt.” I toss this phrase around all the time but never really appreciated how very true this ‘truism’ is so much as I do now! Say it with me now!
I’M SICK OF MY FAMILY!
My divorcing clients often, in the normal course of our work together, call me for help talking “divorce” with their kids and dealing with the aftermath, negotiating their children’s growing pains at the same time as they’re restructuring their families. But these days those kids are all Safer-at-Home with them, sometimes with both parents, who have already been suffering from conflict issues. And stuck together like glue, now even the tiniest issue becomes magnified.
So now my calls for help sound very different.
Even the healthiest and soundest of families may eventually struggle during an unusual and stressful time like our Coronavirus quarantine. So here are some creative and positive ways to spend some fun and (dare I say it?) “rewarding” time with your family while you’re all in forced confinement together. Some of these ideas are my own; I did successfully raise a daughter without killing her. Some of them were provided by my clients and employees. All of them are valuable! So pick the ones that appeal to your family and let me know how it goes at Joryn@OpenPalmLaw.com!
And, as I have pointed out to my daughter many, many times over the years, notice that there are pros and cons to everything.
When self-isolation first started in my town, our neighborhood organized a bear hunt in which participating families hid stuffed animals in their windows (yes, in plain sight) so that the kids could safely walk with their families and search for the cuddly creatures peeking out at them. Now, each week, we organize a different type of hunt, like an Easter egg hunt. I’ve lived in this neighborhood for almost two years, and I would never have known how many young families lived here with me had it not been for this COVID-19 Safer-at-Home regimen.
Movie Night is probably old hat to most of you now that we’ve been stuck at home for a few weeks. I used to invite everyone from my small office once a month for an old movie they’d likely never seen (we had an insane collection of DVDs) and popcorn, potato chips, and cookies.
But what about Game Night? My sister’s family-in-law was always big into board and card games, so my own interest was ignited when our two families started spending our Christmases and other major holidays together, weeks at a time. These gatherings always included easygoing contests nearly every night.
You can pull out the old standbys. Buy them on-line from Amazon or Target, if you don’t already have them at the back of one of your closets. Then Google the newer ones. (Exploding Kittens is a lot of fun!) Just pay attention to whether you’re buying a game only appropriate for adults if you want to include your kids in this pastime!
What Would My Driveway Say?
Use chalk to leave messages on your driveway for your neighbors walking the neighborhood, and leave the chalk out so that they can add to or answer them. So many of us are now going on daily walks to get out of the house, or just to get some exercise and fresh air, and these messages convey a sense of community in what may these days seem a very lonely world to many of us.
This diversion actually comes in two parts. Having decided to try this, play a game with your kids called What Would My Driveway Say? Vote on your number one choice and reward the creator. When your neighbor answers, play the game again.
Have any fitness instructor friends? I promise you; these normally active people are climbing the walls with extra energy. Organize so that each instructor offers a free class or two each week on-line. Try Zoom, GoToMeeting, or some other networking app. These classes will not only help you stay fit, but they will also enable your instructor friends to 1) create followers of their personal workout styles and thereby grow their networks of potential paying clients for the future, 2) work out their excess energy, and 3) pick up some tips from other instructors.
Are your kids old enough to work out with you? Invite them to participate and maybe you’ll discover that their fitness interests match your own. With any luck, the lockdown will end but your new workout partner(s) will want to continue that new way to spend time with you.
Easter is approaching. Decorate your house for spring with your kids. Decorate Easter eggs. Do not stick with tried-and-true, dying boiled eggs. Trying blowing the raw eggs out and decorating the whole shells for you to reuse annually.
One easy way to decorate with your kids is to use colored Sharpies; it doesn’t require a talented artist to create some really beautiful Easter eggs.
When I was a child, I decorated the blown eggshells, after dying them, with really tiny colored seashells. These are impossible to find any more so I use half-inch sized decorations that one might use for scrapbooking. Lace and velvet ribbons are also appropriate.
I still use these eggshells for gifting in baskets I make for my staff every year.
Google the myriad of ways that eggs are decorated around the world and try a bunch of them.
And don’t forget to bake or make a special Easter treat. Can you find an old family recipe? If not, I will bet you dollars to donuts you can find it on-line. (Scary fact: I recently researched a simple Jell-O dessert my mom used to make before she went back to work when I was eight years old. She called it Green Gook. And I found it!)
And seize that opportunity to teach your kid(s) to bake or create an old (or new) family tradition.
We have an opportunity here to turn lemons into lemonade. Carpe Diem! Let’s turn this time that we are forced to stay home into a learning experience for our kids and a fun time for the adults. Keep your eyes open and I’ll share more in my next blog. In the meantime, virtual hugs and air kisses, and stay well.
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Joryn, attorney and Open Palm Founder, began her own firm here in Tampa after a 14-year career in law, two of which she served as a professor of law at Stetson University. She is a recipient of the prestigious A. Sherman Christensen Award, an honor bestowed in the United States Supreme Court upon those who have provided exceptional leadership in the American Inns of Court Movement. For more information on Joryn’s professional experience, take a look at her resume.