Say This, Not That by Ilana Kukoff and Jessica Huddy

Quarantine Activities

Dear Ilana and Jess: Like many people, I’m now working from home with my two kids. They’re 8 and 10. How can we maintain our sanity while social distancing? - Jacobia

Dear Jacobia: First, we hope you and your family are staying well! These are very uncertain times.

First, do your best to maintain any aspects of your regular routine that you can. This includes, but is not limited to: sleep/wake up times, morning and breakfast routines, homework routines, etc. Even if you have no plans to leave, put on at least one article of clothing you might wear outside the house – a sweater, weekend jeans, etc. to give yourself a sense of normalcy.

Humans are social creatures; we were made for interaction. Fortunately, you can still accomplish this while also heeding expert recommendations related to social distancing. Platforms like Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime offer group video calls. Your kids can chat with their friends and you can do the same. Set up virtual playdates or hang outs as you normally would; this will help ensure that plans don’t fall through.

Allocate a designated work station. It can be hard to lose the structure of an office or any on-site format. Creating a designated work station in your home will help delineate the personal and professional and make it easier for you to compartmentalize during this difficult time. If you don’t have the room for a home office, designate a desk or dresser as your work station. It may be worthwhile to move around some furniture to solidify the separation.

Give family time some structure. Sharing organized, joint activities will help keep the day moving. Consider starting a family book club, where each family member chooses a book of the week. Schedule time to sit together to discuss your thoughts, theories, and emotional responses to the story. Not only is this great escapism, it’s an enriching social activity (great even when we’re not social distancing)!

Stay healthy!

Say This: “Everyone, we’re going to be starting a family book club! We’re going to pick a different book each week to read together. Let me know your ideas for this week and we’ll set aside a time to talk about it as a family.”

Not That: “I don’t know what we’re going to do until this is over, either!”

Say This, Not That is based on the work of Cognition Builders: a global, educational company headed by Ilana Kukoff (Founder & CEO) and Jessica Yuppa Huddy (Chief Learning Officer). Everywhere from New York City to California to Shanghai to Zurich, the Cognition Builders team is called upon by A-list entertainers, politicians, CEOs, and CFOs to resolve the conflicts that upend everyday life. When their work is done, the families they serve are stronger than ever. With their new book, Say This, Not That To Your Teenage Daughter Kukoff and Yuppa Huddy have selected the most common conversational mistakes parents make, and fixed them. For more information, please visit: To purchase Say This, Not That To Your Teenage Daughter visit: