The pandemic has certainly created disruptions in our lives, including the lives of our children. They may have already gotten used to daily routines of going to school, taking classes in a classroom setting, and interacting with their peers physically. However, all of these changed when the pandemic struck and a return to school was not deemed possible in the foreseeable future. Parents are making it a priority to understand how to support their children’s emotional needs during distance learning and help them address any fears and anxieties about the situation.
During this time, your child is relying on you for safety and reassurance. Likewise, you have the responsibility of inculcating in your child useful skills and techniques to help them overcome obstacles faced during distance learning. As long as you take note of a few techniques and strategies, you can certainly help your child through it all. Read on to learn more.
A healthy home is a place where children and adults alike can discuss emotions freely and without judgment. In a pandemic where your child is doing school at home, it’s important that you create a space that allows them to have a conversation with you about emotions, whether negative or positive.
For example, try to check in on your child whenever possible. Initiate conversations about how feelings or about their academic situation. Encourage your child to really get to what they feel by helping them use specific language to convey happiness, anger, or sadness. As your children cope with the day-to-day demands of distance learning, being afforded the space to be open about themselves may help ease the burden they feel.
As your child navigates distance learning, problems may stem from the lack of genuine physical interaction with classmates and even cabin fever. Knowing this, you may want to try offering support by encouraging them to develop strong character traits that equip them with the strength to handle challenges that come their way.
Some examples of these traits are mental toughness, resilience, empathy, and the like. Try teaching your child in different ways that failure — whether in school or in general — is part of life. Instead of being too harsh on themselves, they can use this as a learning experience to bounce back anew into a wiser individual.
A study conducted in the past year that showed people between the ages of 4 and 21 found that there was enough evidence to associate feelings of loneliness with a deterioration of mental health in both children and young adults. It may not be a surprise why — schools remain closed and the only safe form of communication is possible through online interactions.
This is why supporting your child through distance learning also means setting aside a few moments just spending time with them. During their recess or lunch breaks, for example, join them in any relaxed activity — whether it be their favorite hobby or a short exercise. Even though both of you may be busy with work or school, spending quality time with your kids can provide benefits to their mental, social, and emotional health.
If you’re already wondering about how to support your children’s emotional needs during distance learning, then you’re already on the right track. Just the fact that you’ve acknowledged that they need support means you truly want to be there for them as they learn the nuances of this type of school arrangement.
Fortunately, there are some practices that you can do to help your children out during this time. By being there for them whenever possible, genuinely holding conversations about emotions, and encouraging them to be strong and resilient, they may develop a good, solid ground in dealing with difficulties that come their way.