Want to smoothen your child’s transition to back to (virtual) school? Here are 5 quick back-to-school tips to help you do just that and give you the SPACE you need.
Tip #1: Schedule Set-Up
This tip is all about the fact that you will need to help your child (re)create a “school-day” at home. While it may seem like a rigid thing to do, scheduling a set time for each subject/assignment is important.
Modeling adherence to a schedule will give your child an opportunity to see how boundaried time really works. This is especially important because they’ve only just experienced “virtual” life during the Summer and not during the Fall, when they would’ve normally not seen you during the day.
Additionally, boundaried time will give you the opportunity to show them that you have to do the things you have to do so you can do the things you like to do.
Setting a schedule and helping your child adhere to that schedule will instill a foundation of self-discipline and motivation they’ll need as they go back to school. . . and later in life.
It’ll be important to not neglect this tip because the reality is that you cannot do everything for your child all the time.
Remember, you are preparing them for “real life”—a world that will expect them to be able to manage their time well. If you don’t allow them to start monitoring and managing their time now, then you’ll get more frustrated in the future.
If you haven’t already, what you can do now to prepare is to find out what the typical order of (virtual) classroom time will be and set up a schedule for them to do homework assignments, with designated breaks. An added tip: do a dry-run of the schedule before they go back-to-school.
Tip #2: Prioritize Physical Activity
The important thing to understand with this tip is that the level of activity has been low(er) than usual. So, physical activity (“P.A.” not “P.E”) needs to be fit into the schedule on a daily basis.
This means that there will need to be a demarcation in the day for your children to take care of their body (not just their mind).
Don’t neglect this tip because taking care of their body (which “houses” their mind) will
- release stress by decreasing cortisol levels and
- increasing the happy-hormone of endorphins.
Happy children make happy students, especially if they’ve been sitting in front of a computer most of the day.
With this in mind, you should definitely determine what kind of physical activity can be done in 10-15 minute spurts. Then plug in that physical activity during the school day schedule.
Tip #3: Ask Always
Make sure to have an inquiring mind. Without hovering or pestering, just ask – “check in” –
with your child about how they are feeling. Also ask how they things are going with their (virtual) school experience.
This is important because you want to know the pulse of how your child is really doing during this time of transition.
This tip is critical to their success because the connection points will be the springboard from which you can direct or refocus them on the tasks they have to do.
Make sure to
- observe their behavior,
- listen to what they are saying (and not saying), and
- ask them about their feelings.
Tip #4: Cultivate Creativity
School work online will engage many (left-brain) areas of your child’s brain. Their right brain will also need time to be active.
With all the “screen time” that your child will experience, as a mom, you will want to help them disconnect from technology-based school work.
Over-activated dopamine areas in the “pleasure” center of the brain will can lead to addictive-like responses. Unplugging from the screen at regular intervals and practicing good sleep hygiene, will help your child’s brain and body to rest.
A rested body is a creative body.
Doing other forms of (non-technology based) creative activity will help add balance to your child’s overall well-being.
Tip #5: Engage Empathically
Through all of this transition process, you need to remember to be empathic towards your child – and yourself—during this time.
Usually, as a mom, we have been through experiences that our children have not. We are like “Sherpas” –knowledgeable guides—for their life transitions.
However, during this time in human history, neither of you have ever been through the kind of pandemic occurring.
Exhibiting empathy and extending grace to your child will let them know that you are still human and relatable; their mom.
Using any of these 5 tips will go a long way in helping your child – and you – transition back-to-school in an environment of uncertainty.
One more thing before I forget. I have a FREE PDF on how to advance the ball of communication between you and your child!
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