Dear parents with school-aged children
Dear parents with school-aged children,
You probably have the tendency to make a minute-by-minute schedule for your kids. You’re hoping for hours of learning, online exercises, experiments and book reports. You are going to limit screen time until they’ve finished their work! But there is something much more important to keep in mind ...
Play outside in the garden.
Our children are just as scared as we are at the moment. Not only do they hear everything that happens, but they also feel our constant tension and fear. They have never experienced anything like it. Yes, they love the idea of 4 weeks off and they probably think that it will be a fun vacation, not realizing that the reality is that they will be stuck at home without seeing their friends.
During the coming weeks, you will see more and more behavioral problems arise. Whether it's fear or anger or protest because they can't do anything "normal" - it's coming. They are going to have more meltdowns, tantrums, and defiant behavior in the coming weeks. This is normal and to be expected under these circumstances.
Bake cookies and make a mess with paint.
What children need now is to feel safe and loved. To know that everything will be just fine. This may mean forgetting about your perfect schedule and allowing your children to just be children a bit more. Play outside in the garden. Bake cookies and make a mess with paint. Play board games and watch movies. Experiment together or look for virtual tours of museums or zoos. Start reading books with the whole family. Cuddle under a blanket and do nothing at all.
Don't worry about falling behind in school. Every kid is going to through the same thing, and everyone will be fine. When we get back to the classroom, we're going to get them back on track and teach them at their level. Teachers are experts at this! Don't fight with them because they don't feel like doing math right now. Don't yell at them if they’re not following the schedule. If they don’t feel like doing schoolwork for 2 hours straight, don’t make them do it.
Your child's mental health is far more important than their academic level.
If there’s just one thing I could share with you it’s this: when all this is over, your child's mental health is far more important than their academic level. They will remember how they felt for much longer than what exactly they did during those 4 weeks. Please keep this in mind every single day.