Top Ten Tips for Staying at Home with your Children during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Top Ten Tips for Staying at Home with your Children during the COVID-19 Pandemic

by Dr. David Tranter, PhD

1. Create a Bubble of Physical and Psychological Safety.

Practice social distancing, not just from people, but from constant exposure to the news. Try to make your home a safe and positive place for your family.

2. Establish a Routine and Start as You Intend to Go On.

Work together with your children to create a reasonable and sustainable day to day routine. Try not to expect too little or too much from your children, or yourself.

3. Remember that Setbacks are Normal.

During times of major transition, we tend to have a honeymoon period where we are coping well, then a letdown period where we feel in less control, and then a reset period where we get back on track. Know that there will be ups and downs.

4. Practice “Good Enough” Parenting.

Maintain realistic expectations about yourself as a parent. You are stressed too, and you will likely not always be your best self. Your children don’t need you to be perfect, just good enough.

5. Know What You Can Control and What You Can’t.

Remember that stress comes from events that are beyond our control. To regain some sense of control, focus on what you have influence over, like connecting with your kids or keeping your household clean.

6. Set and Maintain Limits with Your Children.

Consider how much time you will allow them to be on social media; how much of your time you will give them, what chores you expect them to complete. Like a daily routine, structure and consistency helps with stress.

7. Don’t Turn Your Home into a School.

Learning can happen naturally with a little prompting. Kids are curious and like to solve problems. And most don’t like to complete worksheets. Help them get started and then see where they go.

8. There is Nothing Wrong with a Little Boredom.

Necessity truly is the mother of invention. When kids are bored, they often become creative. Try not to fill all of their time for them.

9. Get Active as Much as Possible.

You can still practice social distancing while outside. Break up the day by going for a walk or getting other forms of exercise.

10. Be Honest and Positive.

Your children look to you for reassurance and to know how to feel. They will also sense if you are not being truthful. Remain positive and acknowledge that this is a stressful time.

Thank you to Dr. David Tranter, PhD for sharing these tips with us during your online session The March Break is Over, Now What? on Wednesday, March 25.
Dr. David Tranter is Professor, Faculty of Social Work – Lakehead University. Dr. David Tranter has been teaching and working in mental health, well-being, and education for over 30 years. As a researcher, professor and the Scientific Director for the Centre for Relationship-Based Education, Dr. Tranter works widely with parents, mental health professionals, and educators across Canada and beyond to support students at all grade levels to reach their highest potential. He is a dynamic, thought-provoking, and entertaining speaker, who has challenged educators across the country to think differently about their role, and to understand the needs of students on a deeper level. He is the co-creator of The Third Path: a relationship-based pedagogical framework that promotes both student well-being and academic achievement. His book, “The Third Path”, published by Nelson is now available. More information about his work can be found at and

You can view the recording of the session The March Break is Over, Now What? at

You can register for the next two sessions of this webinar series:

Session Two: Learning at Home is Not like Learning at School Wednesday, April 1, 1 p.m.

This session will examine how you can support your child’s learning and development without turning your dining room into a classroom. Topics will include: what matters most when it comes to learning, capitalizing on curiosity, and dealing with opposition without detention or suspension.

Session Three: Are We Having Fun Yet? Saying Positive Over the Long Haul Wednesday, April 8, 1 p.m.

This session will focus on maintaining your own well-being so you can support the well-being of your children. Topics will include staying motivated and positive, managing boredom and anxiety, and supporting your own well-being.

For more information or to register, visit: