We’re social distancing and self-isolating for our physical health. Let’s not forget our mental health. Adults and kids are experiencing fear, anxiety, and a host of other emotions. Some kids are angry, and others are mourning what they’re missing at school and elsewhere.
So how is your family doing? A great routine to include in your day can be the Check-In/Check-Out. Start the day with a Check-In to assess where everyone is emotionally. Take turns naming 3 adjectives that describe your feelings. And then take the time for each person to spend a minute or two explaining why they chose these. It can be hard to name emotions, especially for little kids. There are a lot of free tools online to use as a prompt.
After everyone has shared for a minute or two, invite each person to say what they noticed using these sentence starters:
- I noticed…
- I wonder…
- I feel…
This is an opportunity for everyone in the family to be a reflector/mirror and point out things the individual may not see in themselves. Wrap up the Check-In by indicating you’re ready for the day by saying, “I’m in.”
End the day with a Check-Out. Each family member should start this process answering the question, “what’s one take away from today?” Then find something to be grateful for, and share this gratitude. The Check-Out concludes when you each say, “I’m out.”
Check-In/Check-Out can become a daily routine that builds important habits like reflection, self-awareness, empathy, and a secure attachment or bond. The more we give, the more we get, and this is a gift we can give each other.
Download our Check-In/Check-Out parenting tool to bring this routine into your home.