The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way of life for many people but one group that is especially affected is children. As a way to prevent the spreading of the coronavirus, schools all around the world began shifting from offline to online. While the change was necessary for the health and safety of children, it has negatively impacted their mental health. Here are a few things that you can do to help your child manage the stress that they have gotten from home-schooling during the pandemic.
Plan and create a schedule for your kids
Home-schooling or learning from home can disrupt your child’s daily schedule. Their school hours may end up getting longer, and they might find less time for other things. This can cause stress for them because they may feel like their days are getting too hectic. You can try to plan and create a daily routine for your kids so that they can gain back control of their own time.
You do not have to create a strict schedule for your kids because that might cause more stress, trying to follow the schedule. Instead, loosely set time frames for your child so that they know what to do and when they should do it. For example, set a time for breakfast before classes begin but it does not have to be at exactly 7 AM. If you have older kids, you can also allow them to create their own schedule, as long as it is manageable.
Set realistic goals for their academics
Having to achieve a specific goal might be the biggest cause of stress for kids going through home-schooling. You may already have a certain expectation for your child’s academics before the pandemic. However, for some kids, home-schooling may not be the best way to study. Your child may have experienced difficulties with learning from home, even when they had no issues learning in school.
It is important to understand your child’s abilities and how home-schooling could affect them. Some may prosper from it while others might not. Rather than expecting high marks or good grades from your child, you should set realistic goals for them to achieve. This can relieve the burden your child might feel when it comes to their academics, thus relieving their stress.
Keep your kids engaged with different studying techniques
As mentioned before, home-schooling can have a different effect on kids. Your child may not be able to study as well as other kids, even if they are studying from the comfort of their own home. They might have a hard time understanding the lesson due to the distance, or they may get too distracted too easily. This can cause stress for them, especially when they start to feel like they are behind on lessons.
A good way to help your child out is to allow them to try different studying methods and techniques. Maybe your child is a visual learner and can learn better through videos, or perhaps they are a tactile learner. Try to understand your child’s learning habits to determine what type of lessons would work the best for them. Remember that when your child can understand the lesson better, they will be more confident in class, and thus, they will not be as stressed-out during school.
Allow your kids to take breaks
When the kids were back in school, they had a clear distinction between study time and playtime. However, your kids might not have the same clear distinction now because of how hectic online classes can get. It is important that you set break times for them, in between lessons and after classes end. This will allow them to get a breather in between their classes and clear their minds before the next lesson starts.
You can give your child some treats during their break, some cut fruits or their favorite sweet snack like biscuit with a glass of Cowhead milk on the side, or hot chocolate from Cadbury. Some parents will even allow their kids to browse the web during their break, and that is fine because that might be what your child wants to do. However, it is better if you can reduce their screen time and encourage more movement during their breaks. Perhaps they can try some simple stretching in their room, or you can get them to take a quick walk with you outside to get some fresh air.
Communicate with your kids and get them to share their thoughts
One of the most important things that you should do to help your child handle their stress is to talk to them. Communicate with your child and let them share what they are going through during this difficult time. Some kids may have trouble sharing their thoughts and emotions, so try to be understanding and encourage them to talk to you whenever they feel like it. When they do begin to share, try to empathize with them. Let them know that their worries are valid and that you are open to helping them overcome their problems. This is not only good for managing stress but for also great for their overall health.
You should make it clear to your child that they can talk to you whenever they want to, and they should not worry about bothering you. You can also set a time in the day to chat with your child and encourage them to share their thoughts. It could be in the morning during breakfast, or before bedtime, while you have a cup of tea, warm milk.