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6 Things I’m Doing With My Teens Right Now

We are headed into our third week of no school and no leaving the house unless it’s for food or to take a walk.

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Keeping spirits up is challenging to say the least. Like all of us, my three teenagers miss their friends, social lives, and just being able to have more freedom. We slogged through the first week at home, doing our best to get our work done and sleeping a lot. We thought our time at home would pass sooner rather than later. We were wrong.

Now, I’m prepared. I’m ready to start talking about all the things we can do instead of all the things we cannot do. I’m ready to face the fact that the next few months are going to be scary and uncertain. But that doesn’t mean we have to isolate ourselves more than we have to. I’m ready to start doing some other things to break up the monotony—because we all need it.

I want us to focus on the things we can do—and do them.

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Things To Do Right Now

1. Get dressed up for dinner

We can still get dressed up and have a nice dinner at home. We did this last night and there was something so refreshing about shedding my leggings and putting on a dress and heels, even if it was only for an hour. I made my kids’ favorite lasagna and we lit candles. It lifted our spirits and got us away from eating in front of the television in our pajamas—which has been amazing, don’t get me wrong, but we needed a change of pace.

2. Have a picnic in the backyard

If it’s warm enough, of course. Getting outside to have a meal leads to other good things, like shooting hoops, looking for four-leaf clovers, and lying on our backs and watching cloud formations. It might still be too chilly where you are, but you can have a picnic on your living room floor too.

3. Move our bodies

My son’s gym is closed and he’s missing it. He used to go every day and now that’s not an option. So many places are offering free workouts whether it’s on their Facebook page or through an app. We can work out as a family too, which is definitely entertaining. Just a little bit of movement is such a great mood booster and certainly takes care of any extra energy.

4. All things virtual

Not only can we find workouts online, we can do so many other things virtually. Online book clubs, video chats with friends, and Facebook groups offer endless opportunities to connect with real and virtual friends and family.

5. Cooking together

My daughter and I have already made so many meals together, I’ve lost count. Tonight, my son and I are going to attempt to make oatmeal pies. This isn’t something we would have much time to do if life was normal right now. And since we are missing the meals at some of our favorite restaurants, we’ve been looking up copycat recipes to try.

6. Going for a ride

My kids always hop in the car when I need to go to the market now. They stay in the car while I go inside to do our food shopping, but just getting out to see the signs of spring is a treat. They haven’t been this excited to go anywhere with me in years. And I’m loving it.

Times feel dark, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t allowed to find the light. It’s good for all of us to start focusing on the things we can do instead of talking about all that has been taken from us. It doesn’t mean we are putting our heads in the sand and ignoring the problem. It means we are finding some positivity—something we all need a big dose of right now. And we’ll take it wherever we can get it

Katie Bingham-Smith had three kids in three years and crafts herself silly in order to stay sane. She loves to write, wear faux leather pants, eat at burger joints, and make beautiful things. You can see more on her Facebook and Instagram.

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