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​​Keep the Peace Contract​

​​​ T​his “contract” will help you and your kids establish what you can do to get through the coronavirus crisis and how you will treat each other when the stress of being together gets to be too much. 

Here are some ideas you can include in your agreement:

DO treat each other the way you want to be treated, be courteous and use good manners. Be considerate of others’ feelings. DON’T insult or make fun of others, call people names or use bad language, or threaten or hit anyone.

It’s important to determine ahead of time how you and your kids are going to respond when you get frustrated. Here are the steps your family members can follow: First, pay attention to what your cues are (you may feel like your blood pressure is starting to rise or your palms might get sweaty). When you start to feel frustrated, step away from the situation for 10 minutes. Beforehand, write down what you will do for those 10 minutes to calm down (writing down how you feel, counting backwards from 100, taking some deep breaths). After you’ve calmed down, revisit the situation and work on resolving it.

Talk to your children ahead of time about what this might look like, especially if you are trying to juggle working from home and parenting. Maybe you can create an “in box” where they can put a question or problem they have written down and put up a flag to let you know there’s something in the box. When you have a minute, check the box and help your child with the problem. Let your children know how often you realistically will be able to answer their questions so they know when to wait or when to move on to something else. If you can’t answer the question, don’t stress out! Help your child reach out to a teacher or someone else who can provide assistance.

Times are a little scary right now. There is a lot of uncertainty and that can make children fearful. Talk to your kids about how they are feeling and assure them that you love them and will do everything you can to keep them safe and care for them. If you think they could benefit from talking to someone else, encourage them to call the Boys Town National Hotline® at 800-448-3000 or text to

If you have a big supply of board games, pick one to play and let whoever wins pick the game you’ll play the next day. Set aside a game after you play it until you get through all of them. Or maybe, as a family, draw something different every day and compare styles; start with sunsets, then draw giraffes. You can even draw your school playground and see how many details you can remember!

We live in an age of ultra-information where an overabundance of media exposure can open up a world of undesirable, negative and harmful messages your children may not be ready to handle. As a parent, you must protect your children by helping them separate the good from the bad. Make sure you monitor and evaluate what your kids are watching, listening to or logging on to, and talk to them about what they are seeing and hearing.

Build Agreement