1 – Help your child establish and stick to a routine.
Even though school has gone to an online learning format, treat school days just like you would if your child was attending school as usual. This includes having them get up at the same time everyday, get properly dressed, and eat a healthy breakfast.
2 – Check in with your child’s advisor or teachers.
Teachers and advisors are usually more than willing to connect with parents via email or phone after school hours. Check in if your child is having difficulty managing the online learning platform or staying on task. Be on the lookout for any communications from teachers indicating that they are having trouble connecting with your child during this time.
3 – Encourage physical activity and exercise.
Your child will be sitting in front of their computer for long stretches of time. Encourage them to use the breaks in the day to stretch, walk the dog, or do jumping jacks — any movement helps!
4 – Resist the urge to sit in on classes with your child.
While it may certainly be tempting to “pop in” on your child’s classes, please respect their privacy and that of other students. Connect with faculty and staff through email or other communication channels before or after school hours.
5 – Take care of you.
This one is extra important, and we hear it often, but take care of you. If you’re not taking care of your own physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs, you will have less energy, space, and patience to connect with and take care of your children. Even 10-15 minutes of scheduled “me” time during the day is beneficial.
It’s more important than ever to find ways to stay in touch and connect with others, whether that be your local community, your school, or your workplace. If your city or town has city alerts, sign up for an email, as many have opportunities to ask for help or volunteer for neighbors in need. At the end of the day or week, check in with your support network — family, friends, and colleagues — to share worries, advice, and the unexpected joys of living life in close quarters.
And, remember that we have the power to come out stronger from this experience, as we learn to adapt our lives and routines in the face of an unexpected yet shared challenge.