We are in deepest, darkest January. It is cold, wet and miserable and we are locked in our homes. None of us expected to be online schooling our children again, many of us sent our kids to school on Monday hoping for a normal term. With exams now cancelled and school doors closed we really need to take this one day at a time.
‘Our number one job right now’ says Ian Soars, CEO of Fegans, Dad to 3 and trained parent support worker, ‘is to support our kids and encourage them. With their education, well, we just need to let ourselves off the hook’. Sarah Wallace, Head of Delivery at Fegans and mother of three teenagers agrees, ‘we have already had tears and shouting here. Although, we have done lockdown before, this time it is harder, all the memories of last time have flooded back’.
Listen in as Ian & Sarah talk through how they are coping with virtual school –
Our children are disappointed and angry and that is to be expected. We need to concentrate on all the things we can do, celebrate the small achievements and lower our expectations. Normal life will restart, our children will get their educations back and they can plan for the future . Right now though we need to just focus on being kind to ourselves and to our family.
Sarah and Ian suggest the following pointers for your family
1 – You need to be realistic.
Just let yourself off the hook about education. You are their parent, not an educator.
2- Ask for help.
If the technology is hard, ask for help from your other kids, from the school, from friends or grandparents. If your child needs someone to read over their work, send it to an Aunt. Although you are home alone with your kids, use your network to keep you going, People love to help.
3 – Be a team.
Whether it is just you and your kid, or you have a partner and quadruplets think of yourself as a team. You are in this together.
4 –Focus your children down onto their core work.
You can really help here, teach them how to prioritise and break big projects down. They don’t have to do it all right now. Let them slow down.
5- Keep your routines going.
Go out for your exercise, Eat Lunch at a normal time, Keep play times.
6 – Keep the fun.
Once work and school are finished for the day, switch off your laptop and put your phone away.
7 – Praise your kids.
Ffind aspects of what they do and praise them specifically. Praise them for things they should do, like doing their school work – don’t wait for something exceptional. Also, give yourself some credit, you are doing brilliantly.
8 – JUST DO ONE DAY AT A TIME!
Right now, if you can be anything, be kind. If you find you are struggling reach out to anyone and talk about it. Your neighbour, your best friend, the supermarket checkout staff or come and ask us for help.
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