As most people are currently staying in, with school closures, lack of work or working from home, parents are now asked to wear two, sometimes three hats in a day; being a teacher, a parent, and a provider. This means school, chores, and work are now all taking place at home, at the same time.
To help you juggle between looking after your kids, your home, yourself, and work, here are some guidelines we encourage you to follow:
Create understanding and empathy
Let children know what is going on and that it may sometimes get a little messy as you are dealing with many different things at the same time.
- Let them know they are helping others right now by staying at home.
- Have your kids tell you what they’d be interested in doing or learning while being out of school
- Organize your children’s days around work tasks or chores that can’t be interrupted.
- Have an engaging activity or screen time planned to keep them busy when you need to focus on obligations, work deadlines or meetings.
- Create boundaries within your home that your family members understand: “When the door is closed, pretend I’m not there.”
Establish a routine as soon as possible, and be consistent with it.
- Knowing what to expect each day helps you and your kids navigate change and uncertainty. Having a schedule will leave you feeling more in control and grounded, and possibly less anxious.
- This allows you to keep a specific time where you know that the kids will be preoccupied to schedule meetings.
- Here’s what a daily schedule for your children could look like:
– Care: get dressed, eat breakfast, go outside for a bit
– Work: homework/educational activities (free online resources/watching documentaries, activity books, schoolbook exercises)
– ‘Social’ play time – with siblings, or friends online remotely
– To-do’s: teach life skills, washing dishes, folding laundry, cleaning the house – anything that is safe for children and that you might be able to make into an activity.
Divide home and work responsibilities
- Create a separate office space, if possible.
- Work with your partner to establish times/duties with the kids, based on work schedules or household tasks and chores.
Have realistic expectations
- Be up front and honest with your colleagues
– It will reduce your anxiety and help them understand the situation.
– Don’t expect that your efficiency will stay the same.
- Be patient and compassionate with yourself
– You were not trained as a school teacher
– You’re doing three jobs at once (professional, parent, school teacher)
We hope this will help your family get through these challenging times, and remind you that you are not alone in this. There are tons of resources that can help you maintain your mental and physical health, as well as your partner’s and kids’.
Here is a list of additional resources that may help:
Daily learning projects with Scholastic
Lessons where children explore the world with Project Explorer
Creative learning activities for younger kids with Barefoot Books
Classroom guides and printables with Nomad Press
Games to learn geography with Geoguessr
Crafts tutorials and project ideas with Project Kid
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