by Lisa Reichelt, Parent Coach
Are you feeling exhausted? Does life seem overwhelming right now? Is homeschooling the kids and working from home taking every ounce of your energy? You’re not alone. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic our whole society has had to make major adjustments in how we live, work and relate to the community around us. Instead of filling our days with work relationships, family time and relaxing outings, all three of these things are confined to our homes. Emotions are running wild. This is a daunting task and it also takes a toll on everyone’s emotions.
I have been an educator for 30 years and I never wanted to homeschool my children. I can’t imagine having that responsibility fall in my lap as it has for parents this past month. By now you have probably read all sorts of advice on how to be successful and not overwhelmed at homeschooling. Finding a routine that fits your family’s schedule is key. Here are a couple more items that may be of help
- Let older children help the younger ones. You know your children best and often an older sibling can be a great teacher.
- Less is More- this phrase can be confusing. How can less be more? But in this situation every time you have a small success it builds to bigger successes. So, go slowly with this new routine. Have a short lesson and end on a positive note. Next time lengthen the lesson and see if you can build endurance for both you and your child.
- Set realistic expectations for yourself and your child/ren. If everything doesn’t get accomplished, that’s okay. Tomorrow’s a new day.
Working From Home
If you have never worked from home you probably didn’t have the slightest idea of how to make the transition that was thrust upon you. Working from home takes organizational skills and tech skills that are different from working on site. Give yourself some time to adjust to the newness of work from home. Success at this doesn’t happen overnight.
Home organization for work includes having scheduled breaks to do things like laundry, lunch for the kids, checking social media and just getting up to stretch. By scheduling these activities, you will be more productive. You should even post your schedule on the refrigerator so that your family understands you cannot be disturbed.
Technology challenges include more than having enough internet speed and the right devices. Technology support can come from knowing how to manage your availability for meetings, office conversations and last-minute emergencies. By using software products that support home offices, you can be productive and available to your co-workers. Find the software that makes you most productive. Of course, the biggest tech challenge is the use of video conferencing for everyone! If this is outside your comfort zone, Owllabs has some great tips, https://www.owllabs.com/blog/video-conferencing-etiquette If you are still unsure, practice with some friends so that you can feel confident when you are video conferencing.
Managing Emotions through this Daunting Time
While it may seem that the most pressing demands are homeschooling the kids while you try to work at home, there is an even bigger topic to address. The current pandemic has caused the whole family to feel a sense of loss. Children have lost their school connections: teachers, friends, classmates, and even bus drivers. Adults have lost connections with their co-workers and friends. Everyone is missing extended family. According to grief expert David Kessler, these lost connections with others cause us to grieve. You and your family members are probably experiencing some form of grief and it may be manifesting itself in ways that negatively impact your family.
Grief is a debilitating emotion. The only way to get through your grief is to walk through it and allow yourself room to grieve. If the adults and children in your family are all experiencing some level of grief it is time to name it, recognize the emotions and be there for one another. Grief is the type of emotion where the person grieving needs someone to witness their grief and accompany them through it. So if your child is feeling sad about missing school and friends, be a listener. Don’t try to fix it, or brush it off, or judge them. Just listen and hold them and reassure them that things will get better. Your presence is the most important ingredient to their journey through their grief. While you are at it, be sure to find support for yourself. If you are grieving the lost connections in your life, you need support. Who can be there for you? Who will listen, be non-judgmental and honor your grief? Find that someone and be strong together. If you need someone to talk to, we are here for you. Contact us for a FREE Consultation
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