Do allow your children Mental Health Days? Or Reset Days?
Mental Health or Reset days are days when you have nothing planned and you just stay around the house pretty much navigating at your own pace! A day to give your mind and body a chance to relax and recharge!
Yesterday, we were getting ready for drive-in church and I noticed that my daughter was moving slow. She kept sneezing, and like any other parent during these COVID times, that puts us on HIGH ALERT! Yes, I’m probably being extra but there is a level of “scared” that I have about the pandemic! And we are truly a family that doesn’t do much just because we are trying to be as safe as possible. And let’s just be honest, we actually enjoyed our time at home during the quarantine and we have made a promise to ourselves to not go back to living life constantly on the go like we were prior to the pandemic.
I thought my daughter was tired because when we got home from church she was still laying around and not really wanting to do much. We watched the football game and watched the movie The Addams Family movie (release 2019), and although I could tell she enjoyed doing both I could tell something was “off.” I called it pretty early, I texted her teacher and my supervisor letting them know I would be keeping her home and working from home in order to make sure she was okay and wasn’t getting sick, because the last thing I would want to do is send her to school sick during these times.
After talking to my husband we decided that the kids probably need a chance to recharge. Yesterday, I woke up and contacted both schools and called both children out absent! We made the executive decision that they needed time to recharge. These COVID times are hard for us all, and children are affected differently and can’t always explain how they’re feeling emotionally!
How do you know when your child needs a chance to recharge?
We all express ourselves differently, and for me when its time to recharge there is a chance I can withdraw from everything, sometimes I will vocalize that I feel overwhelmed or there are times when I can become snappy. During these times I usually eventually say, something needs to change and I quickly realize that I need to adjust so I can get some personal time. For my children, I tend to see signs in them that they need some additional rest. My children are very much homebodies, so for my oldest sometimes she will ask can we simply go home (which was something she did yesterday). She will also withdraw or become very sensitive about things, and she’s not usually that way. Also, she will do a lot of laying around on the couch, and last night she got in the bed! My youngest is the more emotional child, and he tends to start crying about any and everything, down to someone looking at him (sounds funny, but it’s definitely a sign he’s tired and needs some rest or time to recharge). Or there are times my youngest will try to fight the feeling then he will get caught doing crazy things such as throwing his ball and catching it over the TV.
So, how do you handle your children needing to recharge?
Let them take the day off of school…listen, mental health is important at any age, and if your child needs a day to do nothing, let them take the day as long as they aren’t missing anything important. Now if it becomes a habit they need more often then that presents some red flags and its something you definitely should be paying attention to.
Extra rest…for little children this may look like nap time or going to bed a half-hour to an hour earlier on that particular night.
A Day with No Schedule…for my children, this is a favorite way for them to recharge. Both of my children are homebodies, so recharging for them means being at home on their own schedule, doing things that they like to do; playing together, coloring, playing school, crafts, etc.
Movie Nights…movie nights at our house are our favorite things to do. We all find a spot on the couch to get comfortable, spread our family blanket out over all of us, and snack and watch movies.
Talking Walks…the kids love walking the dog! As a way to get them to unwind after a long day, we will talk a longer walk than we usually do. This actually helps us all!
Long Car Rides…Cleveland is a great city to take a long ride in. And living in between Cleveland and Akron we sometimes get in the car with no destination and just ride around. We pack snacks, or sometimes we stop and get a snack that we wouldn’t usually have on a regular basis! And since being home for quarantine, this is probably one of our favorite things to do as a family!
Hugs…I’m very affectionate with my children in general but a hug goes a long way! So hug your babies (and I mean whatever age your child is…give them hugs and kisses)!!!
Undivided Attention from Parents…We are so on the go, even when we aren’t sitting in front of our children we are doing business from our phones. Put down those phones and give your children some extra attention! I’m guilty of this too…sometimes they truly just want our attention.
Listen, we are all trying to figure out how to navigate life through a pandemic! Your children are learning too! If you haven’t in the past, take the time to pay attention to their actions to make sure they don’t need a mental health day. Going to school virtually, in a hybrid method or fulltime with masks on is a lot mentally and physically… it’s good every now and then to let them have a mental day if you see them struggling!
Do you allow your children to take Mental Health Days or Reset Day? What do they usually do to unwind?