Back to school is coming up, but this year is looking a lot different than ever before. While it’s up to each school district on how this year will look, we can assume that our kids will be at home more than normal, which means it’s not just the students struggling to adjust.
“I’ve definitely seen a lot more insomnia, anxiety, depression in some of my parents. Also if they were having a glass of wine before they go to bed, now they’re having an entire bottle,” said Dr. Daniel Bober, chief of psychiatry at Memorial Regional Healthcare System.
Working, parenting, and now teaching, it’s the parents who’ve been pulling these three duties that are struggling to find some balance.
Dr.Bober says parents should communicate with their children on what’s going on, layout a plan and then build a structure around that plan to make sure everyone is getting their work done and also making time for themselves.
“They have to allow time for them to learn and be independent. I think that is so key for students and it might be learning a new way of being independent. Where in the classroom they had their way of being independent, now they have to get that goal of independence at home,” said Pam Holifield, middle school teacher at American Heritage.
Middle school teacher at American Heritage, Pam Holifield, says there are three ways to help your kid build that independence.
First tip, make sure they’re set up in a quiet and clean space.
“Save your vacuuming for later. Get them in a space where they can hear their teacher, speak to the teacher or speak to their classmates,” said Pam.
Second tip - make sure your child is staying engaged.
“Make sure they’re asking their questions. Make sure that they’re reading the information, teachers spend a lot of time putting things together for students and parents,” added Pam.
Last tip - communication.
“Make sure they have somebody they can call in the same class with them. I think it’s really helpful for students at home to continue connecting with others in that class. Parents you too. Make sure you have parents to talk to in that class as well. Your first contact should be a teacher for help, but it’s really great to have a network where you guys can communicate and collaborate during these times,” said Pam.
For parents who may need that extra help, Dr. Bober says don’t be afraid to ask.
“Try the best you can. This is not something that’s going to work out perfectly, it’s an unprecedented time that we’re going through right now. Try to ask for help if you need it and don’t be ashamed to do that,” added Dr. Bober.
Dr. Bober also emphasized the importance of making time for yourself.