I’m a single parent to a beautiful but very hyperactive 2 yr old. I rely on my family to help when I am overwhelmed but they’re of course self isolating so at the moment I’m just overwhelmed and I have no idea what to do. We started self isolating about 9 days ago so at this point every toy has been played with and is no longer fun and she just wants to go play outside. I live in a flat so I cant even run around the garden, today she wouldnt participate in anything that wasnt going outside, she sat by the door and screamed so we went on our one walk a day but it didnt help because she just wanted to go back outside, on top of that because shes not burning off as much energy shes gone from 2 hr naps to 45 minutes. With the added anxiety of not knowing if I’ll have enough money to get through the month I’m feeling hopeless and was hoping to talk to someone in a similar position because it’s so hard to communicate how difficult this is at the moment to other people.
I know someone who divided up toys into several boxes, so day 1 only box A can be played with, day 2 box B can be played with, day 3 box C then rotate back to box A. Easier said than done because there will be a moment where any kid DEMANDS a particular toy that’s in a different box! But just because you cave on a particular day doesn’t mean you can’t try again the next day – under these circumstances you’ve got to be kind to yourself as well as your child.
If you’re going for a walk somewhere safe and enclosed like a park, you can take a scooter or tricycle. Encourage little races that you make minimal effort in – eg “last to that bench is a rotten egg. Oh I wonder how fast you can run to that tree and back to me (2 mins later) I’ve seen you run faster than that – try again!” A fairly simple way of you having a stroll while little one burns off some energy. Maybe try the morning YouTube PE sessions that are available and treat your trip out as a reward. Maybe in the morning over breakfast make a to-do list together, if you can try and include her in “grown up things” such as when you’re sorting the washing she needs to match up the socks…even if they don’t need doing it’s something different to distract her while you’re being productive but she feels like she’s helping mummy. and once the things are ticked off (by her) only then can you play out. I honestly think that thinking of things to do can be just as tiring for parents!
but top of the list, be kind to yourself, none of us expected to be facing isolation as a single parent.