We never thought we’d be beginning the school year like this…
It was hard when the last part of the school year ended so abruptly, there was confusion with remote learning, and we all hoped there’d be an end in sight. For sure things would be back to normal in a few months. And we are still waiting…
This summer has been hard. We’ve had to get creative, permit more than usual amounts of screen time, and navigate this new parenting paradigm with no north star pointing the way.
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I know many parents who at this point in the summer are counting the days until school starts. There is always excitement for their kids to get back to routine, and out of the house, since summer days are so long; keeping the kids entertained can be exhausting and draining.
And this has nothing to do with not loving our kids and loving doing things with them. But we also love getting a break, having routine and getting back to a schedule.
And yet now here we are, getting ready to start the school year, and unfortunately nothing has changed. They aren’t going back, routines will look totally different than ever before. There are some plus sides: no carpooling, making lunches or fussing about what to wear.
But the reality is that this is going to be a hard start to the school year. There’s no getting around it.
Distanced learning, hours in front of the screen and the unknown of how we as parents are going to handle it all is enough to make our head spin and anxiety soar.
Whatever you are feeling is normal.
There is no rule book to know how to parent during a pandemic.
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Yes, it’s overwhelming. Yes, it’s scary going into an unknown. Yes, it’s normal to feel anxious and overwhelmed.
But guess what?
Your kids are going to pick up on your energy, and if you’re stressed, anxious and overwhelmed, then they will be too.
And, the hardest part?
Stress and anxiety are not conducive for learning.
In fact, they do just the opposite.
When we are stressed, anxious and overwhelmed, it literally shuts down the part of our brain where we learn and retain information, where we have logic and reason, and where our rationality, communication and memory resides.
So you don’t just need to get your anxiety, overwhelm and stress regulated for your own emotional well being, but you need to do it for your kids’ well being as well. You need to role model it to them. Don’t you want to give them the most optimal environment to learn from home?
And these tools extend further than just managing remote learning.
These parenting hacks will help you decrease yelling, ineffective discipline and disconnection.