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  • Deirdre Brandner

Don’t try and do it all: Now’s not the time for parent superheroes


Parents, there is currently over a billion children around the world who are missing out on schooling. This is because the health and wellbeing of each individual is more important than education at this time.

In every home there are parents and caregivers trying to survive in these strange and surreal times. Everything is different, planes don’t fly overseas, you cannot go interstate, to a restaurant or a playground. Yet we are still putting pressure on ourselves and our children to replicate the dynamics of the classroom whilst in lockdown.

I overheard the comment from a parent “that if corona doesn’t finish me then home schooling will”. All humour aside, the impact of trying to meet unrealistic expectations will result in burnout, stress and poor emotional health in what is already a time of unprecedented turmoil.

Remember

  • It’s not home-schooling and it’s not online learning. We are just trying to keep education going in some form for our children in extraordinary times. No one is going to recall what your child got for Maths in term 2 of 2020!

  • There is no such thing as balance. It is absolutely impossible to juggle work, everyone at home and a remote learning regime that mirrors the on-site classroom.

  • If you try to stick to the school routines and be the schoolwork police you will only end up stressed and frustrated...and so will your child

  • Focus on what you need to do to get through this period, whether that’s keeping your job, your children entertained, relationships amicable and/or your sanity.

  • Don’t let parent guilt trick you into believing that you are responsible for your child’s education. This thinking will only result in arguments and tears, from child and adult.

  • Some children will cope with this learning and others are more vulnerable will not be able to access these structures. And that is okay.

  • Your emotional wellbeing and that of your child may mean that formal learning as directed by school lasts only until 11:00am…and guess what? That is okay !

  • There are many ways to engage in learning...and it is not all about completing tasks and attending Zoom calls

  • Remote learning aims should be keeping connections between home and school, opportunity for interactions and maintaining emotional well-being.

Remember you and many million other parents across the world are trying to do the best they can …and that is more than enough.

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© 2019 Deirdre Brandner Psychologist