During the COVID-19 pandemic, distance learning became almost a rule. If, in the fall, a large number of children will have to learn from home, parents worry – how things will work, especially given that they have responsibilities for work, but also in the household, and involvement in online education of will the child be an extra task?
In this context, the changes are dramatic for both parents and children. “It’s not the ideal situation, but it’s important to remember that you don’t have to do everything perfectly,” said Emily Mudd, a pediatric psychologist at Cleveland Clinic. Here are some tips you can follow to manage the problems of this period in which education and virtual job have taken control.
In order to make it easier for the child to adapt to learning at home, you need to create a certain space for him to do his homework. According to the psychologist, this special space will help the little one to differentiate when it is time to play and when it is time to learn. You can let him customize it as he likes. Also, make sure you keep in touch with your teacher or teachers to stay informed, ask questions, and receive guidance. Parent groups can also be a good way to support.
Make it a schedule, but be flexible
“Children perform efficiently when they have a structured program, a routine. This predictability causes them to feel safe and understand the next steps, “explains the psychologist. It is not necessary to plan the day by hour, but certain intervals must be for school, others for physical activity and meals. For example, if the little one learns for an hour, then let him play or have other activities that do not involve the screens (tablet, TV). It allows the child to choose when to perform these daily duties, so that he can carry them all out. It would not be bad to include in your daily routine educational programs that can be watched online, but also reading books suitable for his age.
Keep him motivated
If your child has trouble concentrating on what to do for school, you can try some tricks. For example, when the child is small, establish a reward system to motivate him (after checking a set of activities), and he should not get bored. The reward can be to choose the evening menu, the movie to watch with the family or others.
Talk to him
Encourage your child to ask questions and share how he or she is feeling. The child may have different reactions to stress, so be patient and understanding. Also, take advantage of any discussion to remind her how important hygiene and proper hand washing are. Drawing, stories and other activities can be a good way to start a conversation.
When you work from home too
If you need to supervise and support your child learning from home while you work from home, psychologists’ recommendations focus on balancing time and stress:
- Set boundaries. If you did not work from home before the pandemic, the child is probably used to the idea that you are available since he sees you at home all the time. Involve your child in setting these boundaries: ask him to write “Don’t bother” on a piece of paper and stick it on your office door. He will be much more willing to respect it if he himself created that sign.
- Discover small moments of happiness. Numerous studies state that happy employees are more productive at work. So, if you feel overwhelmed by stress, give yourself permission to play with your child for 15 minutes or go out for a while. When you return, you will feel better and work harder.