This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
I need a plan to make things better(16 Posts)
I am a single mum to two primary aged children.
We started a new life from their abusive dad a few months ago - new house and new school in a new area. We have really been through the mill and just as we began to settle - covid struck.
The problem I am having is that my children are on their iPads all day and it is really affecting them. They are moody and lazy. The go to bed late and although they eat healthily, it is not at structured times like it used to be.
I have lost all motivation to parent adequately.
I interact and have good conversations with them throughout the day but activity wise we aren’t doing much at all.
I was running on adrenaline while we have been fleeing the DV and now we have reached safety the adrenaline has run out and I feel drained and possibly depressed.
I want to create structure in our lives so that my children can thrive like they used to. We used to go on days out most days when they were not at school and now swimming/soft play/play areas have been taken away, alongside lack of schooling, I feel very lost.
Could you give me a template of your days with your children so that I can use some ideas to get us through the day without the iPads.
Oh my god you are doing so well. Just heal as a family and do what you can.
Can you go for walks? Go out for a couple of hours. Then they get ipad for an hour after. You are doing amazing just give yourself a break.
I'm so sorry, and glad you are at safety now. No wonder you feel drained. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself. You can take/add things to the day below:
-9am Joe wicks live youtube PE class
-English work (if the school haven't set any, try oak academy) 1hr
-maths work (also on oak academy) 1hr
-10 minute shakeup break
-project (let them pick a subject they are interested in and pick a project to work on. eg: egyptians could be a pyramid made of cardboard, covered in written facts) 1hr
-dinolingo for around 30 mins
-ipad time whilst you cook dinner
hope that helps a little x
Thank you Blanca, what you have wrote has made me cry but in a good way (honestly!)
I hate seeing the kids unmotivated and moody. I feel like they deserve better than what I am giving them at the moment - the problem is I can’t remember what normality is any more and I want to create positive structure and memories. The life we are living at the moment isn’t terrible but something does need to change and I need ideas/inspiration to make the changes.
We could go out for a walk, they will complain A LOT as they see it as pointless (“Where are walking to?”) but fresh air is what we need everyday, just before lunch or maybe after? thank you
Sleepismysuperpower - that’s a fab plan, I will use that as a start and maybe ease them in with the school work (half an hour instead of an hour at first maybe)
I’m not naturally clever so will look up oak academy. I find home schooling hard as most of the time I am learning the methods myself and I think they pick up on that sometimes. Thank you for the advice it’s just what I needed.
no problem OP . You could also download the pokemon Go app on your phone and let them take turns with it during walks? It might provide a 'point' to the walk IFYSWIM x
also just to add, oak academy is completely free, so you won't have to pay to use the resources etc
Try downloading Pokemon Go for the walks. It is free! My dd who is 7 gets bored on walks as well but this keeps her moving .
Also I know friends who do geocaching where you can hunt out little treasures in your local area. Think that has an app as well.
Great minds... @sleepismysuperpower1
Thank you for the idea of Pokemon Go/geocaching - would never have thought of this - downloading it now
We are waking up around 9am at the moment, what time do you guys start your day during lockdown? It seems very late, but I guess getting the bedtimes back to an earlier time would help a lot.
You are doing awesome! You have got yourself and your kids to safety! That will radically improve their whole lives and they will know always that you were there for them. Goodness, you have earned a break. You all deserve to rest, breathe, be somewhere that is safe and calm.... your bodies and minds will need it. The kids are not going to be damaged in anyway having a short period i their lives when they just bum around mostly..... I haven't been through anything like you have but can imagine that draining of adrenaline.... respect it and forgive yourself for it.... in fact give yourself the huge credit you deserve for earning it....I am sure your energy will come back when you are ready.
If and when you want and feel able, you can start to introduce the odd thing. Maybe concentrate on things that are restful or therapeutic/ expressive in some way? It may be a way you can help yourself and the kids process a little the shock. Put on some music and have a silly dance competition? Order a big roll of paper, spread it on the floor and splatter different colored paints.... watch an inspiring movie or nature documentary cuddled up on the sofa together.... I have no idea.... but please please don't give yourself a hard time.
You got them out. That alone makes you mum of the year in my book.
My boys are on devises quite a lot more than I'd like but I usually try to get something vaguely educational first thing.
We do the joe wicks one thing 9-9.30
Then about an hour writing, usually something suggested by school or sometimes just handwriting or I start a story for him to finish. Then at 10.30 it's break time, so we play in the garden and have a snack. At 11 it's film time but recently it's become any tv show! At 12.30'we have lunch and go out for a walk. So usually back home for school work at 2 ish. We do maths for half an hour there's two websites we use through school mangahigh and ttrocks then we do art for about half an hour. So finishing at about 3.30 when school would end. Then if they sit on the tablet or my phone the rest of the day I don't feel so bad as they've done something else even if it's not much.
Pokemon go is great we do it most days on our walk!
Hope this helps a bit!
Ah OP you have done so well to get out of an awful situation so well done you! This period now is just a little blip but with my primary ages daughter who doesn't always fancy doing Joe Wicks and her work, l use screentime as a reward for her doing them. So she doesn't get punished for not doing Joe Wicks etc but she gets rewarded if she does. We make sure we get out the house every day, sometimes in the morning and sometimes not until after dinner but l do find she is much more productive if we do our exercise early. Give yourself a break and start in a few days. Oh - Horrible Histories is a good tv programme and she has learnt loads about history watching it x
Get up, get out. Go for a long walk with a ball/ bikes/ scooters/ chalking a path/ bear hunt/ bubbles or whatever will keep their fancy, take a treat for when you get to (insert destination) or have a shop to pop into for an ice cream etc before coming home. Then at least whatever else you do or don't they've been out. The more fun they have out the more they'll want to do it. In the absence of playgrounds etc I found it hard, we haven't had it anywhere near as tough as you but we moved house a week before lockdown, I was redeployed into a very, very different and more challenging role further away from home and I was exhausted, DH was doing major works to the house/ garden when he wasn't at work so we had to work around that. I had to just do a big tidy after kids bedtime and get them up and out in the morning or things would get bad. Fake it till you make it, I played kickabout and chalked with them, insisted we were going 'to x so I can...' so to the pound shop on the other side of the woods for chalk/ a bath bomb, to the random corner shop miles away for an ice cream, so they had an idea of going somewhere to do something, otherwise the eldest would just moan.
You sound like a fantastic mum, you've made their lives safe. If you can get them used to and enjoying a new way of being out of the house it'll be much easier to get them to want to go.
Firstly well done for getting this far. Can I say mine are having their iPads much more than before but if it helps connect them to friends or watch daft videos I’m ok with it being more than normal.
BBC bitesize is also excellent and geared for each year groups. It has videos to help if you can’t grasp a maths problem for example. They have different subjects so can be maths, English, geography, history etc.
We get out most days for a walk or bike ride.
We do some baking, well who doesn’t like cakes etc?!
We will make popcorn and all watch a film together.
We will do some art.
I think as long as there’s some variety in the day, just getting through and then being mostly happy is ok.
Hi OP: just wanted to say you need to cut yourself some slack. You've done a brave and brilliant thing for your children. Whatever non-optimal parenting is going on now, its a small price to pay for you having provided them with security and peace of mind.
I'm in a similar boat to you: I was in an abusive marriage (thankfully quite some time ago now) now working from home all hours and finding it very difficult to support my daughter with her schoolwork. I'm at the end of my rope with it to be honest and really struggling but the thing that gets me through it is that I'm in control, I don't answer to anyone and she and I are safe.
It's very tough at the moment but you will get through it.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Get started »
Please login first.