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02/09/2021

Distanced Learning Tips for Parents on How to Cope

Distanced learning means that not only does all of the school work now live at home, but so do stressors that are usually out of your hands. For example, time that was typically to yourself is now shared by the family, making coping with distanced learning a stressor in itself. However, a little reorganization and structure can lighten the load and relieve the stress. Read on for a list of coping mechanisms and  virtual learning tips for parents.

Create a Routine

One of the most effective ways to cope with the added stressors of at-home learning is to create a school day routine for your child. While you may not be running out of the house at 7:30am to make it to the classroom on time, the consistency of a wake up routine is still just as important. Try to create and stick to a timed schedule for waking up, getting dressed for the day, and eating breakfast before the school day starts. This will bring a sense of normalization and consistency for your child, making each day run significantly smoother.

Keep in Contact

Distanced learning also means that you don’t get to see the child’s teacher and other parents on a regular basis as much as you used to. However, that should not hold you back from keeping in contact with them. 

Luckily in today’s day and age, we have the technology to still remain face to face virtually when keeping in contact with one another. That said, use this to your advantage! Either via Zoom calls or FaceTime, be sure to stay in touch with your child’s teacher so that you are on top of the progress they are making from home. Also, keep in touch with other parents for support and remote learning tips along the way.

Check in With Your Child

Before the school day starts and when the day ends, check in with your child. Here are some questions you can ask to check in with your child:

Before the school day begins:

  • What assignments/schoolwork do you have today?
  • What out of those is the most important?
  • What are three goals you have for today?
  • What can I do to help you today?

After the school day ends:

  • How was your day?
  • What do you feel like you did well today?
  • Was there anything hard in your school work or emotionally today?

Each of these questions will prompt a conversation that will allow you to offer positive reinforcement and have a deeper understanding of how they are doing to support them both educationally and emotionally for positive reinforcement.

Encourage Creativity and Physical Exercise

Creativity and physical activity are equally as important as coursework, especially when your child is working and learning from home.

Throughout the day, allow your children the time and space to get creative and move their bodies. Stress can build up physically throughout the day and take a toll on your child’s well being and learning experience.

Either individually or together as a family, consider going for a walk, drawing, painting, or doing a quick online yoga class. There are plenty of options when it comes to creativity and exercise, that said, give your child the option based on their mood and what they feel they need that day. 

Display Your Child’s Work in Your Home

While your child is spending a significant amount of their time at home, showing off their hard work on the walls of your home is a great method for how to build self esteem in children and allow them to feel like their hard work is being noticed. Whether it is a drawing, a writing project, or any other school-related work, displaying these pieces will create a working environment that will foster positive emotions all around.

Take Care of Yourself

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, be sure that you are taking care of yourself emotionally as well. Giving yourself the time, space, and emotional support you need, however you need, will allow you to show up for your children everyday.

While it is not realistic to take a mini vacation or simply take the “day off” from parenting, there are pockets throughout the day that you can make use of to reset. Even the quiet moments before bed, in the shower, or driving to the grocery store and listening to your favorite songs can make all the difference in your days. 

Coping Beyond The Walls of Your Home

At times, stressors can feel overwhelming and out of your control. That said, oftentimes people turn to therapy and counseling to help alleviate the stressors of uncertain moments. If you feel that your child can use the extra support, Children’s Bureau helps children 0-21 years of age by providing an extensive variety of mental health resources. With these tools and treatment plans, your child will have the support they need to succeed in times of uncertainty and distress.

However you choose to cope with the stressors of at home learning, you can be sure that each of these “at home learning tips for parents” listed above will help take some of the weight off of your shoulders and create a beneficial learning environment for your child at home. 

Reviewed by:

Jose A. Ramos Jr., Director of Prevention
Jose A. Ramos Jr., MSW, is the Director of Primary Prevention at Children’s Bureau. He has worked with Children’s Bureau since 1994 and has over 30-years of experience working in the Child Welfare field. He has a master’s degree in social work from the University of Long Beach and is earning his MBA. Jose is also Secretary of the National Association of Social Workers.

Sources:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23308007/

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/exercise-benefits-children-physically-and-mentally

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