Updated: Oct 21, 2020
A friend and I were on a Zoom® call the other day and, inevitably, the conversation turned to our kids...more precisely, being the parent-educator during these pandemic times of self-isolation, quarantine, or whatever you want to call being home indefinitely.
And I know I keep preaching to "look for the opportunities". And I truly mean that...there are so many opportunities to strengthen the bonds and bring you closer.
But there are just as many opportunities to lose it.
We were discussing the latter - our less than stellar responses; our less-than-nurturing mothering. And we traded war stories and laughed. And admitted we wouldn't want to reveal these deep dark secrets in any other setting.
Underlying our laughter was the overwhelming sense of guilt - guilt that we failed. Guilt that we were overwhelmed, tired, confused, anxious. Guilt that we reacted instead of responding. Guilt that we were, well, human.
Here's the thing: We are in unprecedented times. For many of us, kids included, this means we may feel scared, anxious, overwhelmed, exhausted. Add to the lonely, because we can't physically be with the people that provide an outlet for these feelings.
So, how can we stay calm, cool, and collected? How can we balance the working at home while also having to care for our kids while teaching and/or supervising their learning?
Here are 6 action steps to get you started:
GIVE UP BEING PERFECT...No one (but perhaps you) is expecting that. At best, you'll keep your kids engaged and thinking and avoid a backslide.
DON'T TRY TO REPLICATE SCHOOL. Your home isn't, and shouldn't be, school. Too many other things are happening. No one can learn when stressed. Our world has been turned upside-down. What is most needed is family connection - your kids need you to feel safe.
CREATE A SET AREA FOR SCHOOLWORK. It doesn't have to be fancy - a desk, the kitchen table, the coffee table in the living room. This helps kids (and you) get into the right frame of mind for doing their work. I've often suggested the same for homework.
SET A SCHEDULE. Kids need structure and routine to feel secure and safe BUT this should look like a school schedule. It doesn't have to be rigid. (No more than 3 hours a day of school work).
OPPORTUNITY IS KNOCKING. The most important learning is going to take place with the time you spend together. What are we modeling for our kids? Reading, playing board games, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, navigating the crisis together. Your kids will look at how you handle this trying time and learn volumes.
DON'T GO IT ALONE. The common mistake many make is thinking they can do this alone. Social distancing can be isolating - even for introverts. People need connection and community. Join the Encourage Greatness private Facebook group to get support and community 24/7. And tips on navigating the ups and downs of parenting, especially important during these unprecedented times. Now is the time to be compassionate with yourself and those around your family, to forgive yourselves each other for the missteps of the day. Talk about what's going on, your expectations. Listen to what they have to say. If, at the end of the day everyone is feeling safe, connected, and loved, you're good.
If you need help figuring out what to do during these (or any) trying times...schedule a BREAKTHROUGH SESSION today.
We'll look at your goals, the challenges you're facing, opportunities you might be missing. We'll also uncover hidden problems that may be sabotaging your desired results. You'll leave the session feeling renewed, re-energized, and inspired to get results faster and easier than you thought possible. And you'll have a plan of action to do just that.
"Action is the foundational key to all success." Picasso
is an expert in helping kids to develop the confidence and self-esteem skills that they need to thrive now, and grow into happy, confident, successful adults. Her more than 40 years in education, along with her training as a coach and practical experience gained from raising her own 4 children, give her an understanding of the needs of each child, as well as the needs of a parent. This makes her uniquely qualified to help children, support parents, and nurture tomorrow’s leaders. Her programs provide hands-on experiences for children allowing them to explore and grow while building skills and having fun.