With dates and plans for school openings yet to be determined, these tips can help manage schooling in the meantime.
Stay Informed with Temperance
Tempering the volume of information you expose yourself to can help balance your stress levels. You can stay sufficiently informed by checking your school board’s updates, following, and attending when possible, their deliberations and public meetings, and inquiring as to the scientific basis for their decisions.
Try to Satisfy Your Child’s Needs
Take the uncertainty involving school openings as your opportunity to customize a learning environment for each of your children’s specific needs. Try to determine what sort of setting will best help them continue to develop emotionally, socially, and academically. What satisfies these needs varies from child to child.
You may have already realized the organizational muscles teachers flex to keep themselves on track.
You too may use a method of organizing information and keeping a schedule. Try several methods (e.g. a spreadsheet, a chart, etc.) to find what works best for you. You may need to rearrange your schedule. Investigate strategies with other parents as an opportunity to brainstorm.
Also, develop a plan for the worst-case scenario once schools do reopen if your child becomes infected. Ask the following:
- Will they return to school after recovering?
- What level of exposure risk will you allow?
- Will you administer a test or isolate your child if they are exposed to an infected child?
The CDC provides guidance for parents concerned with answering these questions.
Make the Best of Your Situation
Perhaps you face conditions that prohibit home-schooling for your family. Whatever the case may be, try to make the best out of your situation. By this point in the coronavirus pandemic, most people have developed a habit of wearing a facemask whenever leaving the house. Nevertheless, make sure your child is protected from exposure at school by providing a facemask—preferably a new mask daily, if using disposable masks, or a fresh and clean mask, if using reusable masks. Educate your child on COVID-19’s mode of transmission to help them understand why they need to practice good hand hygiene and social distancing and that what they are being asked to do is not only to protect themselves but to protect their teachers and older adults from being infected.
Explore Options for Support Groups and Therapy
The coronavirus pandemic has brought a boom to the online industry for these services, which can easily be found on Facebook or other online forums. It may help you to connect with other parents dealing with the same issues. Therapy may also offer support on a more personal level. If you’re interested in starting immediately, Betterhelp and Talkspace are paid therapy services that work with your schedule to get you the help you need. Interface Consulting and Psychological Services can also provide professional in-person and online therapy, coaching, and assessments for people of all ages.
Ask for Help
If you run out of gas, it won’t be pleasant for anyone and your child’s development may suffer. So, don’t hesitate to call on your friends and family members for help if you begin to feel overwhelmed. At the very worst, they may turn down your request. And, while the help they can offer may be limited by social distancing guidelines (safety first!), the benefit to you and ultimately to your family is priceless. It never hurts to ask.
Take Care of Yourself
Although your family may be in constant need of you, it’s important to take time for yourself, especially during this coronavirus pandemic. After all, you’re only able to help your family as much as you have the energy to. Consider scheduling a time during the day or week to relax, sit down, and recharge by doing some activity you enjoy. Visit Interface Consulting and Psychological Services for more information!
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