Read to learn our insights & tips on how schooling during COVID is different and how parents can get themselves and their kids ready for the COVID school impact.
Managing the emotional ups and downs of taking care of children is one of the biggest struggles of being a parent. The challenges are even greater for working parents who attempt to balance both work and family at once. As if it wasn’t already hard enough, COVID made things even more difficult. Parents now have a new challenge to face as schools reopen: sending their kids to in-class or virtual schools. In this week’s Live, we acknowledged the COVID school impact and discussed how schooling has changed the safety and dynamics of the home with Louise and Emma.
What have been some of the challenges of the COVID school impact on students?
Even though it feels safest to stay home to prevent COVID school outbreaks, the mental challenges might lead children to choose in-class schooling instead of virtual. This might be true for kids in all ages. Louise shared how her one daughter chose to attend university physically which was challenging in terms of moving. The lengthy self-isolation period of COVID has made most people feel ‘stuck’. This often leads to seeking alternatives on how to socialize within safety measurements.
In addition to social needs, some kids learn better in an in-class environment. Thus, going back to school in-person can be beneficial for some kids given there are safety precautions imposed by the school and teachers. Both our guests mentioned how important trust is among the children, teachers, parents and the school community for this to be successful. Having a supportive school community and teachers can ease the worries about safety in both the parents’ and childrens’ minds. However, trust is built in both ways. Parents also need to be careful about how they speak about going back to school at home. Sharing their belief in the teachers to ensure their kids’ safety can help the students to have confidence in in-class learning.
However, schooling during COVID doesn’t just affect students.
There are also challenges for parents whose kids attend school from home. Other than the clear challenge of finding adequate space for kids to study at home, there is also the added feeling of guilt of not spending enough attention to kids. Both our guests shared how they feel a great need to help their kids with their schooling whether it’s setting them up for Zoom calls or helping with the course material. However, this is difficult while dealing with their own responsibilities. Additionally, there might be the added challenge of language for parents whose kids go to French immersion schools. Parents who don’t know French face a barrier to helping their kids with the school material.
Aside from these challenges, what are some positive trends for both students and parents?
Despite the difficulty of balancing tasks, schooling from home allows parents to be more involved in their kids’ learning process. Dropping and picking up kids from school is different for parents than seeing their class material and lectures. In addition to parents being involved, kids can still have engaging online school experience. Online education still provides a connection with teachers and other classmates due to the ability to see others on the screen. Communicating with others virtually during class can help take kids away from feeling isolated.
Kids who attend school have a greater chance of getting over the feeling of isolation. Just like adults, children might need their space away from other family members. Thus, going to school can be a good break from being stuck at home. They can instead get their own space by seeing their friends and peers in school.
What are some precautions parents can take to prepare their kids for the COVID school impact?
Building resilience for kids on fighting COVID has been very important. It has been as hard for the kids to isolate and maintain safety as adults. This process can be hard to watch for parents who do their best to lift the weight on their kids’ shoulders. However, children are as resilient as their parents empower them. So, letting kids feel seen and be in their feelings is important for them to tackle and solve their issues.
Unfortunately, parents can’t control what their kids will do in school about safety measurements. To ensure their safety, parents can have conversations with them before they go to school on why and how they should maintain distance. Kids in high school might especially have backlash about maintaining social distancing and not meeting with other people due to their social needs and peer pressure. So, it’s best to talk about this situation openly before things arise at the moment. Being prepared is better than putting them on the fence last minute.If you want to inform your kids about how the schools are responding to COVID, check out the CDC guidelines for reopening schools 2020.
One of the most important precautions is adjusting the social bubble. Both our guests had to eliminate seeing the grandparents to add social networks from their children’s schools. This might be devastating for people who won’t see their family members as much as before. However, it might be better to eliminate members from the bubble to ensure safety than taking away in-class schooling from kids.
What advice can we give to parents to support their kids about schooling?
Step 1: Protect yourself.
Keeping stress levels down is very important for all members of the family. Its easier to be kinder to other parents who are facing similar problems than ourselves. Parents need to acknowledge how much they are doing for their families and be kinder to themselves. Having group chats among other parents of the same grade can be highly beneficial. Group members can share their issues and find solutions together instead of thinking they face those challenges alone.
Step 2: Protect your children.
Even if you have anxiety about the situation as a parent, it’s important to not infuse those emotions to kids. Infusing trust to kids that they can maintain safety in school is more important than sharing your anxieties which might scare children about going back to school. Kids can pick up on every social cue and are aware that COVID is a challenging time health-wise. Thus, choosing words carefully when discussing COVID and schooling is important for parents to ease the stress of kids.
Step 3: Empowering is better than controlling.
Showing kids how they have equal responsibility as adults to maintain the safety of the society can be a better tool to ensure their safety than trying to gain control. Giving children the power to decide on their actions might be more effective when it’s matched with rewards. Louise mentioned how she allowed her kids to go back to school and see a few friends if they knew how to be cautious during COVID. This motivated her kids to learn how to be careful about social distancing and other COVID measurements.
Step 4: Be open and educate your kids.
Children can be very impulsive, so educating them and being very honest about why all these safety precautions are important is crucial for them to understand why they need to be doing things. Having this conversation is just as important with a teenager as a toddler.
We hope you enjoyed reading our blog about ‘the COVID School Impact: Schooling during COVID’! Check the full live chat here. You can find our live chats and more of the latest financial news on our News Blog. Stay tuned to learn more tips on a new topic each week on our Instagram Live at 5 on Instagram! Aside from our live chats, we post daily financial updates on social media!