Many parents are feeling an overwhelming amount of stress as they are being asked to manage all the unexpected changes from COVID-19. Parents of children of all ages are having to navigate at least some change since the beginning of the corona virus. Most parents are dealing with changes in work schedules, lack of childcare, increased stress related to health and finances and, now that school has started again, the burden of having to teach their children.
If you are a parent and identify with this, know you’re not alone, and that there are ways to manage the stress. If you do a web search you’ll find a lot of advice on how to cope with the demands from distance learning but for now, here are a few ideas to help you and your child get through this school year.
- Create a schedule. Your kid is missing out on structure by not being in school so help him/her out and establish a daily routine. Wake them up at the same time each day, have a consistent schedule for schoolwork, have set meal times and create time for other activities. Be sure to allow for some flexibility. Your child’s schedule doesn’t have to be rigid and set in stone. Give your kid a break if they are feeling frustrated. Every child has different needs so be patient as you learn about what works best for your kid.
- You are not the teacher. Let me repeat that. You are not the teacher. Yes, your child is going to need extra support but you don’t have to take on the role of being their teacher, too. Your job as the parent is to maintain the structure, provide emotional support and be their cheerleader. One of the most helpful things parents can do is to praise their child’s efforts and provide positive feedback. Here’s a tip, reach out to your child’s teacher if you are experiencing difficulties with schoolwork, technology, etc. It’s their job to help.
- Be patient. The coronavirus has launched us into uncharted territory. You don’t have to have it all figured out. Please be easy on yourself and your kid as you navigate this school year together. Make time to talk with your child and really listen to how they are feeling. Remember, take a deep breath (or two!).
Like always, we’re here to help you and your child if you need additional support. You don’t have to do this alone. It’s okay to ask for help.
Christine Holmberg, LMFT