The world is glued to their phones and the television, awaiting the updates from their leaders of their countries on the latest developments of the Coronavirus. Panic, fear, confusion and anxiety has swirled through the air at a rapid rate and everyone seems to be holding their breathe. Rightly so, 1 million Australians have lost their jobs, people are dying and no one knows what is going to happen next with this invisible enermy.
But as I scroll through social media and open my 100s of dms from worried parents, panic continues! “Jo what can I teach my kids – how do I teach them???” Schools aren’t yet closed however the recommendation is to keep children at home unless parents are essential workers. Most families have decided to keep their children home and now trying to navigate their new normal. Schools are trying their very best to get online and provide instructions and work for families but there is still so much panic in the air.
When Europe became the epidcentre of COVID-19 last week, we were in Malta, right in the thick of it. We had travelled to London with NEXT for an amazing opportunity and our first ever family European holiday followed. Whilst we were up to date with WHO and all the latest travel advice, it really didn’t hit us till Malta when it was time to leave. We got the last flight out before they closed their borders. We couldn’t get home as all the flights were booked so we stayed in Dubai for 3 nights until we could get our original flight home. As the streets started to empty, the masks replaced the smiles and the sound of cough was like a bomb going off – I just didn’t know how I could help because like everyone else, it has taken the wind out of me. 5 days into our 14-day self-isolation I started to find my balance as I too was finding our new norm. I know now how I can help.
It isn’t lesson plans, I am not creating how-to videos on teaching kids to read or starting a YouTube channel on-at-home algebra. My message is simple. STOP. Stop the pressure on yourself. Stop trying to teach your kids how to read and write. Stop worrying about how you will home school. Please take the pressure off yourself. There is a global health and economic crisis. Give yourself and your children time to breathe. Feel what is happening around you and use this time to navigate and create a solid social and emotional framework for you and your kids.
Yes, it is true, no one knows how long this might last, but all you can do right now is focus on the things you can control. So if you want to do something with your kids start with cooking together, let them learn your routine and rituals, start a veggie patch, do meditation in the backyard, read to them, make a storybook together, create dances, teach them your values, talk to them, practise gratitude, show them resilience and most importantly hold them tight. During this time see what their passions, gifts and talents are by observing them. Time is something none of us had a few weeks ago, now we have it, so cherish it. But please I beg you – take the pressure off yourself. You don’t need to teach them the curriculum. You don’t even need to do the suggestions I have put forward, but you do need to breathe. And if you made a healthy meal, had a giggle with your kid and drink some water today – then give yourself a pat on the back.
But some of you may be needing a bit of structure and guidance. That is ok too. I have created 3 worksheets. That you can use to help you maintain that breath.
- A daily family worksheet “what we can control” – print this daily and do it is as a family to start your day on a positive note. Get your free copy here.
- A guide “what to say to my children during these uncertain times”, get your free copy here.
- A blank “daily planner for families“ – if you feel like you would like a bit of gentle structure to your day. Get your free copy here.
You can still purchase MY HAPPY BOOK which is a self-development book / journal for kids and their parents to unleash gifts, teach gratitude, discover values, life lessons and coping strategies. This book is perfect to build a solid social and emotional framework and will provide comfort to you and your children during these uncertain times. We will be doing a page a day over on my instagram stories so come along and join us.
So friends, my take away is this, I give you permission to take the pressure off. Take one day as it comes. Let your child’s educator guide and support you. But above all, most importantly in these times, cuddle those kids tight.
Now go make that cuppa, and enjoy it whilst it is hot.