As we head into the back-to-school season, there is much uncertainty for everyone – parents, teachers, and children. I spoke with Adam Jablin, Life Coach & Motivational Speaker about stress and anxiety over the upcoming school year and how we as parents can help our children.
How can we recognize stress in our children, especially young children?
“Every child is unique and different. None of us are the same. This is why healthy communication is so important. Children are just like us. Look out sleep issues. Nightmares. Change in appetite (over-eating/under-eating). Isolation. Anger outbursts. Etc. And by the way…keep track YOURSELF! They may be simply mirroring you!”
How can parents ease children into their new routines of online learning?
“Guide them. Help them set up. But…DON’T JUDGE THEM. Don’t try to make your child You. It more of what NOT to do. Kids are resilient!”
*How can children going back to school with anxiety over the virus deal with this stress?
“My #1 rule is to share about. When we share, we out the problem in half. Friends, family, and loved one can then help support. By the way, joking and teasing can be support. Sometimes we have to know what we are thinking is not reality!”
How can parents that are working from home and have children at home deal with stress of everyone under one roof? Routines? Schedules?
“It’s extremely important for “ME” time. Self- care is not selfish. Exercise. Read a good book. Start a meditation practice. Stay loose. We are leading by example!”
How can parents who work outside the home deal with helping children with their online studies after work? How can this stress be reduced? How can parents then find time to just be parents and have down time with kids when time is stretched so thin?
“I truly find it difficult to give advice to someone unless I have walked in their shoes. But, there are little things we can all do. Leave loving sticky notes around the house. Call a little more often or FaceTime. Send e-mails and texts. Don’t bombard them…but let the kids know you’re thinking of them.
Finding down time is tricky. Life is a balance. Healthy communication is the key. If we feel guilty saying what we need, it can very quickly become passive/aggressive behavior. That’s even worst for the kids. So stay open. Communicate. Say what you need.”
How can parents encourage kids to do online studies and keep up with grades without stressing kids out?
“Just be a good parent. We are all this together. None of us have been through this before. We are learning. It’s way more important that your kids feel safe and your love vs. grades and what college they can get into. What’s the point of you child getting into that dream school with a chemical addiction or needing to see a psychiatrist. Put first things first…the rest will work itself out!”
What great words of wisdom and encouragement for parents! Thanks, Adam! The one thing that I think Adam spoke about that resonates with me is that we need to communicate. Keeping an open line of communication between parents and children is key to a good relationship anytime in life, but especially now when we are all feeling the stress and anxiety of this world. Change is hard and when we don’t fully know what the changes will be (hybrid schooling, online, for a week, for a month, for the year, etc) then that tension can increase. Talking with your spouse or other adults about your own concerns and stress is important. Just as important, we need to talk with our children and allow them to talk things out with us.
We need to give them a safe and consistent presence in which kids know that they will be ok with all the crazy changes in life because you are their constant. With all the craziness in our lives with altered work schedules and school schedules, be sure to check in on the emotional well being of your children. This happens naturally when you have an open communication system in place – don’t already have that? Then start with Adam’s advice of leaving notes, text, calls, etc to our children when we aren’t around and don’t stress out over how your child is handling schooling from home or hybrid schooling, etc – in the end, it will work out. The last thing we need to do is stress our kids out even more if they aren’t earning straight A’s right now. I don’t think any of us adults are earning straight A’s right now in life either. 🙂
Hang in there, moms!