As families continue to adjust to the “new normal” of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, both parents and children may feel anxiety and fear.
The boundaries between work, school and home have gotten fuzzy, often leading to emotional burnout. It’s important to remember this whole situation is new for everyone. There is no right way to get everything done.
With so much change and uncertainty, it’s more important than ever for parents to take care of their mental health so they can continue to laugh, have fun and appreciate every family moment.
Here are some tips on how to stay positive while juggling a full schedule.
- Prioritize self-care: There will be a lot of unknowns this year, so it’s important to remain calm and remember to breathe when dealing with the unexpected. Each day, take time to do at least one thing that’s just for you. That could mean taking a few minutes in the morning before everyone wakes up to enjoy the quiet, mediate, write in a journal, read a book or watch your favorite television show.
- Be flexible: Keep an open mind, especially when it comes to virtual learning. If you don’t stress over changes, your child will be less likely to stress.
- Have a daily routine: While flexibility is key, it’s still important for parents to set and maintain a daily routine during the hours that school is not is in session. Even if the plan needs to change, having a road map for your day will make it more manageable.
- Set boundaries: If possible, have separate spaces for work, school and relaxation. No parent wants to feel like they are living at work, and no child wants to feel like they are living at school. Having designated spaces for each part of your life will make it easier for everyone to stay focused when they need to focus, and relax when it’s time to relax.
- Stay in the loop: Don’t be afraid to communicate with your child’s teacher about how they are doing in school. Teachers can offer amazing tips on how your child can stay engaged with school virtually. Staying informed will help both you and your child be less anxious.
- Have a support system: Ask for help. Many parents all over the country are trying to work, take care of their households, and make sure their children are doing well with virtual learning. It’s not easy, and some days, the whole family may need one big cry and one big hug. Everyone is in this together.
Parents set the tone for how children will respond to a virtual learning experience. The calmer and more positive you are, the more excited your child will be about jumping into that virtual school day.