I came across this message this morning and I wanted to share it with you all:
You might be inclined to create a minute by minute timetable for your children. You have high hopes of hours of learning, including online activities, science experiments, and book reports. You’ll limit technology until everything is done! But here’s the thing…
Our children are just as scared as we are right now. Our children can not only hear everything that is going on around them, but they feel our constant tension and anxiety. They have never experienced anything like this before. Although the idea of being off of school for weeks sounds awesome, they are probably picturing a fun time like the summer holidays, not the reality of being trapped at home with their parents and siblings and not seeing their friends!
Over the coming weeks, you may see an increase in behaviour issues with your children. Whether it’s anxiety, or anger, or protest that they can’t do things normally – it will happen. You’ll see more meltdowns, tantrums, and oppositional behaviour in the coming weeks. This is normal and expected under these circumstances.
What children need right now is to feel comforted and loved. To feel like it’s all going to be ok. And that might mean that you tear up your perfect timetable and shower love on your children instead. Play outside and go on walks, (in family groups and only once a day!). Bake biscuits and paint pictures. Play board games and watch films. Do a science experiment together or find virtual field trips of the zoo. Start a book and read together as a family. Snuggle under warm blankets and do nothing.
Don’t worry about them regressing in school. Every single child is in this boat and they all will be ok. When we are back in the classroom, we will all of course correct and meet them where they are. Teachers are experts at this! Don’t pick fights with your children because they don’t want to do maths. Don’t scream at your children for not following the timetable. Don’t mandate four hours of learning time if they are resisting it.
If I can leave you with one thing, it’s this: at the end of all of this, your children’s mental health and wellbeing will be more important than their academic skills. How they felt during this time will stay with them long after the memory of what they did during these next weeks is long gone.
So keep that in mind, every single day.
Be Safe and Be Kind