With school closures and this new role of classroom teacher now thrust into your laps, you may be feeling overwhelmed over the enormity of what you think you are expected to accomplish with those school packages that have been sent home with your children. How are you going to do everything when you are working full-time, you haven’t tackled an algebraic equation in 20 years, and you haven’t got a clue from what hole they’ve pulled a hyperbole? Will you fall short in the parenting department if you don’t have an itemized calendar with minute-by-minute activities so that your poor children do not fall down that dark hole, never to return because you couldn’t help them write a haiku? And how will you survive this gong show that may be your life right now? I get it. You may be feeling all sorts of ‘stressed out’.
Here’s a reality check. With this unprecedented experience that we are going through right now, believe me when I tell you that your children are just as anxious and nervous about everything as you may be at this very moment. Their new ‘normal’ means being away from friends and their lives at school and activities, which may not feel very good to many of them. And, when they are stressed, they may act out so that you find yourself on the receiving end of behaviors that won’t make you jump for joy, which will undoubtedly only add to your current level of frustration.
My advice to you. Don’t stress about a daily calendar that itemizes your children’s every move. Don’t worry if you can’t walk them through their mathematical equations. Stay calm when they start bucking your desire for them to do their homework. Trust me when I tell you that they will not fall into the abyss of educational failure. When things get back to normal, the teachers will step up and meet their students where they are at, just as they do every day that they are all in class together.
At this point, I can’t stress strongly enough that you just heap on the love when you are with your children, comfort them, and enjoy your time with them (with or without a martini). Learning experiences take place in all forms of activities and when they are shared with the people that you love, the memories created last a lifetime. So, read together, bake those cookies, play that boardgame, toss a ball around in your backyard, build a fort out of every sheet that you have in the house, take a virtual field trip with them, watch a movie or ten, and take some time throughout the day for everybody to find their own space.
I promise you that once all this fades away as a distant memory, your children won’t remember what assignments they didn’t submit, nor will the teachers. They will, however, remember the time that you spent with them in the comfort of their own home and how you helped them navigate a very bizarre time in their lives. So, let the stress of completing every assignment go…just breathe…and make the most out of this time with your babies.