Are you struggling with your larger role in your child’s education? You’re not alone. According to a Pew Research Center study, 68% of parents who are doing distance learning are concerned that their children will fall behind. This is a valid concern as everyone struggles to adjust to new tools, technologies, and schedules.
Parents are also struggling with juggling their own work schedules with the demands of their children’s schooling. Although it may seem near impossible now, I’m here to offer some tried-and-true parenting advice.
Read on for my comprehensive guide on parenting strategies for distance learning!
Create a Learning Environment
In my free ebook “How to COVID-Quarantine With Kids,” I talk about how it’s important to remember that it’s not up to you to make your children happy. This may seem like a radical notion, but you can cultivate an environment that allows them to find activities to entertain themselves and create their own happiness.
Similarly, you can’t force your child to do the work or learn the new material, as this can lead to frustration and even anger on both sides. Parenting without yelling is far more effective for everyone. Instead, make it your job to establish as supportive an environment as possible–try to set your child up for success as best you can.
This starts with trying to allocate an area of your home that’s as free of distractions as possible, such as phones, TV screens, and toys. While some kids may do better with library-like silence, others may excel with some noise in the background, such as music playing softly.
Set Realistic Expectations
Even if you set up a great learning environment for your child, it’s still important that you set realistic expectations when it comes to distance learning. Plan ahead by finding out what to expect, such as:
- How many assignments they’ll have per week
- The amount of screen time per day
- Who gets to use certain devices and when
In my free ebook, I talk about embracing your upside-down life instead of trying to fight against it. You need to accept the fact that there will be days when computers aren’t working, the internet is slow, and your to-do list is barely touched. No one expects a perfect parent and neither should you!
Make a Routine
One of the main things that kids of all ages are missing out on with distance learning is the lack of routine. It’s now up to parents to make the routines that schools once did with in-person learning. Routines are important for children because it helps them feel more safe and secure.
They know what’s expected of them each day, and it helps them engage in their learning more efficiently. I recommend having your children follow a routine that’s similar to the one at school, such as getting up at the same time, brushing their teeth, and eating breakfast.
For your older kids, purchase a calendar, planner, or even a whiteboard for them and encourage them to use it each day. In my book “The Secrets to Parenting Without Giving a F^ck,” I also talk about how you can utilize a family calendar. Everyone is responsible for updating it with family activities.
Use Positive Parenting Solutions
In my book, I talk about the effectiveness of positive parenting and “the power of we.” I encourage you to try to be your child’s partner instead of their commander. This means that instead of ordering your child to do something, you’ll want to take more time to negotiate and collaborate.
Although it does take more time, you’ll find that trying to reach common ground with your child will strengthen your relationship for the long term. For instance, the schedule you created may not be working out for your elementary schooler. You find that they’re struggling to work on their assignments after class is over, and you don’t know how to encourage them to focus.
Instead of trying to push them to complete their assignments then and there, open up a dialogue! Ask them why they’re struggling. You may find that during that time, they feel especially tired and drained. Your child might need a break, a snack, and a walk outside before they start working on their assignments.
I also remind parents that being a strict parent lacks creativity. It’s easy to be strict, but you’re sacrificing the respect your child has for you and their willingness to open it up to you when it matters.
Creating Positive Distance Learning Experiences
It’s important to remember that you’re not alone when it comes to frustrations with distance learning. There are thousands of parents and children out there that are going through the same adjustments as you.
Focus on patience and communication with your children, creating a flexible schedule that works for everyone, and encouraging movement and exercise when they’re done with school.
If you do feel as if you need more support, there’s no shame in seeking parent mentoring. My one-on-one parenting classes provide customized solutions that are focused on results-based solutions.
Schedule with me today for a free parenting consultation call!