In our recent letter from Lyndsay she mentioned Caron of Roo Parenting. We thought it would beneficial for some of customers (parents!) to learn more about her! Lyndsay and Caron have been practicing social distancing together in the Collingwood area and Lyndsay has learned some top notch parenting hacks from the expert! Time to share:
1) What is Roo Parenting? When did you start it? What services do you provide?
Roo Parenting is a consulting service that provides support to parents as they navigate the ups and downs of raising their children. Roo Parenting was founded in 2016 by Caron Irwin a Toronto-based mother of 3. Caron has her Masters in Child Development and is a Certified Child Life Specialist with over a decade of experience supporting patients and families at the Hospital for Sick Children. Caron supports parents with children between the ages of 0-10 in all areas to do with childhood - every day challenges, behaviour, sleep, eating, anxiety, friendship and unforeseen circumstances. She supports families through individual consults, community workshops and by creating content for Instagram and YouTube.
2) How are you coping with COVID-19 with three kids at home?
With a lot of patience, positivity, clear communication and creativity.
Trying to be patient with my kids because their emotions are running high - they know and sense that things are different and their behaviour is matching this uncertainty. I am constantly trying to remind myself and my kids to look on the bright side and think of all the great things that we have to be grateful for. I have been sharing with my kids what is going on in other parts of the world in a high level way so they are in the know. We are getting very creative by finding fun, unique ways to keep my kids entertained and happy as well as finding ways for them to continue to connect (while social distancing) with friends and loved ones.
3) Can you share some parenting hacks for families suffering from COVID Cabin Fever?
My top three are:
The Morning Huddle: Each morning at breakfast the 5 of us share our goals for the day - what we need and want to accomplish. This helps us establish our daily routine.
The Special Event: Every day in the afternoon we have a Special Event - this could be a craft, family hike, a game of FaceTime Name That Tune with Friends or a social distancing scavenger hunt. I find that by having this "headliner" event each day if gives my kids something to look forward to and also helps them be more forgiving when we need them to entertain themselves independently while we get some work done!
The Family Awards: It is hard working, living and playing under the same roof with the same crew day in and day out. To help keep morale up I have started doing the Family Awards each night after dinner (I think I got this idea from summer camp!). On a post it note I write a character trait, highlight or skill that each kid accomplished (and the kids are now reciprocating this for my husband and I!). We call them up and present them with their daily award, it is also kind of cool because now each kid has a wall of post it notes highlighting their accomplishments. This has become a ritual that we all look forward to, it is fun and a great way to end the day!
4) We're up north in wide open space now, what's the game plan when you head back to the city?
Never go back! Ha!
Be consistent and bring the rituals and strategies that have been working for us up here back to the city. It has been important for us to get outside at least 2 times each day - I would like to continue that at home. We live near Brickworks so we hope to go for many walks and scoots down there, play in the backyard, read on our porch - just continue to think outside of the box and get creative!
If you're in need of daily tips you can subscribe to Caron's daily e-blasts. They're full of helpful tips on how to cope with family and kids while practicing social distancing!