Let’s just say it — we’re all doing our best but we’re all losing our minds. We’re comparing ourselves to other parents, trying to teach our kiddos to the best of our ability while still trying to stay afloat. Us parents are so hard on ourselves now more than ever. My go-to educator, Jenny Morgan wrote a letter to encourage all of you parents out there that you’re amazing and it’s okay if you hide in your closet from your family a few times a week— it’s only normal.
Before I begin, I want to take a moment to tell you that YOU ARE AMAZING. If you are reading my post, you are a fan of Molly, you love your kids, and you want to do the best for them – ESPECIALLY during this wild time. Parents, take a moment and give yourself a big pat on the back. You are doing the best you can, in unprecedented circumstances.
Please know that your children’s teachers are also navigating uncharted waters. We are as uprooted and turned upside-down as you are. We understand that your child might not make their 9am Zoom call with us because they are eating pancakes with the family. Maybe they want to sleep longer, or maybe they are just tired, and they don’t want to get their work done.
Listen to them.
You are role models for your children. They will react in kind. What you say and how you say it, are critical. Fear comes from words that children overhear – whether it’s from a conversation, the news, or elsewhere. It’s up to you to be the calming force in their life, and reassure them that in time, life will improve. Give them grace and space to explore this new experience with you. Their mental and emotional well-being (and YOURS) during this time is far more important than pushing a grammar lesson.
If they are fighting their classwork, let them walk away and come back to it later. Trust me – we teachers understand that life at home looks different from life in the classroom. They miss school. They miss their friends. They want their routine and schedule back. They miss PE and recess and being silly with their friends. They are craving social interaction just as much as you are. Do a daily check-in with them and ask them, “How are you feeling?” Guide the conversation in your own way. Their answers might surprise you.
When they are ready for learning, they will tell you. Routines and schedules work well but allow room for free time. Implement reading as much as possible. Try to get outdoors if you can. Limit screen time and make mealtime a cell phone free zone. Bring out the Legos and puzzles. Just be present. Sit and talk with them. You will be amazed at what you can learn from your children.
At the end of the day – Teach with Love. You know your children best and they love you for it.
Sending you love, hugs, and all the support in the world. We are all in this together.