I’ve said it before, and I will say it again: it is a difficult time to be a parent. Of course, this year has been hard on all of us, but I would venture to say that parents are shouldering a burden that some of us can only imagine.
Between working from home (or not working, as the case may be), caring for elderly relatives, and managing your children’s educations as they learn remotely, you parents have a lot on your plates.
Let’s be honest, as much as you love your children, you never anticipated seeing quite so much of them.
All day every day for eight months and counting is just SO MUCH TIME.
While this may present a whole world of challenges, the resounding complaints that I’m hearing revolve around remote learning.
Of course, teachers and schools are doing their best. Even so, Zoom calls are a poor substitute for school.
As a result, kids are feeling disconnected and lost while parents are feeling even more pressure and responsibility than usual. The result is that everyone is stressed and overwhelmed.
Therefore, it is important that parents remember the one thing that will help to cultivate success at this time. Or, at the very least, the one thing that will help everyone to maintain their sanity.
It may seem insultingly simplistic, but here it is: keep your mind right and maintain proper perspective. This is to say, do what you need to do in order to take control over the situation rather than letting it control you.
If you can only focus on how difficult remote learning is, your children will adopt that attitude. If you feel like and convey to your children that you are victims of your circumstances, that is what they will come to believe.
And there is nothing more disempowering than believing that you are a victim of things that you cannot control.
Yes, right now is hard. Yes, it’s frustrating and annoying, and it feels like it will never end.
Sometimes, life is like that. Life can and will hand us circumstances that we hate. We will all endure hardships that we think will take us down.
Right now, it is Corona and remote schooling. In the future, it may be a relationship, a job, or a missed opportunity. Eventually, your children will, undoubtedly, face challenges, disappointments and failures.
Today, you can teach them whether or not to react to these external circumstances in a way that determines their fate.
If you can use this opportunity to show your kids that you are all strong, resilient, flexible, and up to any challenge, they will be different people when this is over. And so will you.
That doesn’t mean that everyone gets straight As in remote learning. In fact, sometimes that means, instead, that the whole family takes a mental health day.
Perhaps that means that you or your student reaches out to teacher to let them know that a particular homework assignment just isn’t going to happen.
Maybe it means that you ask for more help than usual. Perhaps you even have to ask for more help than you are comfortable asking for.
Maybe you have to do more problem-solving than usual.
Or maybe you just finally lower your unrealistic standards for yourself and your children.
Whatever it looks like for you, use this opportunity to figure out how you take back control over your life and the lives of your children.
Because if you can figure out how to empower yourselves through something this big, scary, and uncertain, you will be unstoppable on the other side.
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