Expert ideas for families stuck at home: Take a breath, set a routine, embrace the adventure

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chances are you’ve recently seen some parents making debut appearances on music lip-syncing apps like TikTok with their children or family music videos posted to Facebook.

And mental health experts say it’s just what the doctor ordered.

“We talk a lot about the kids and the importance of kids playing and having fun,” said Sarah Kaiser, a social worker at Truman Medical Center. “But it’s also really important for us adults, as well.”

Kaiser and her colleague Vladimir Sainte have been offering support and advice to fellow parents who are navigating the potentially combustible environment of an entire family, forced to stay at home.

“So the first thing I want to say to my fellow parents out there is: Take a deep breath,” Sainte said.

Take a breath and develop some kind of a routine, the experts say. These are unusual times, so any kind of semblance of family structure can really go a long way.

“I’m putting on a Royals game every Sunday and putting on Royals gear and watching it and going full on Royals mode,” Kaiser said, “because it gives me something normal to just feel like, this is kind of what I would be doing this time of year right now.”

Take time for yourself, develop a routine and, as far-fetched as it may sound, embrace the adventure of the situation.

If making music videos isn’t your thing, there are countless ways to bring the outside world into your house during this stay-at-home order.

“You can take taekwondo classes locally or from Fort Bend, Texas,” said Debra Ross with Kids Out and About. “You can take a yoga class from Westchester County, New York or from Salt Lake City.”

Ross runs the KC website, which specializes in finding things for families to do out in the world.

But in this climate, Ross has redirected the website’s focus to find countless ways to bring the four corners of the globe into your living room.

“Sneak peek background tours of places like zoos and museums, places you might never get to visit in person,” Ross said. “But now you can see what the hippos are doing at the Cincinnati Zoo.”

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