4 Common Worries Parents Have
- Not being challenged
- Not learning because of virtual platform
- Special needs such as ADD make learning online that much harder
- Lonely – missing their friends
- Inability to interact with others
- Worry that returning to school with so many restrictions will make school less enjoyable, more frustrating, and change children’s attitude towards learning
- Angry at not having more freedom; capability to do things / go out
- Executive function skills suffering; child needs me for everything!
- If I’m struggling as a mom to process and express my needs, then how are my kids really coping with all of this?
Having young school-age children should be an amazing experience full of fun and laughter, while watching them grow and develop.
But for many parents, this is a highly tense time. All they want is for their child to be happy, healthy, to be successful, and to have a childhood full of joy and new experiences. Watching their children learn virtually from behind a computer screen wasn’t exactly what they had in mind.
2020 has taken its toll on just about everyone. It has left many parents worrying that online learning is taking the joy and creativity out of school.
Life amidst a pandemic has been full of uncertainty. If we’ve been feeling out of control, you can be sure that our kids also feeling the stress too. Their world changed almost overnight! Routines were turned upside down. Going to school meant walking into the kitchen. Hanging out in pjs became the norm. That all may have been fun for a while, but let’s face it: we all long for “normal.” More than ever, kids too, need a way to feel like they have a say in what’s happening in their lives.
4 Ideas To Help Your Children Feel More Empowered
In order to provide your children with an outlet for expressing themselves, consider adding an extra dash of creativity into your weekly routine:
- Save the World Sunday. 2020 has been one weird year! Encourage your children to choose a strange or difficult thing that your family has experienced this year. Together, turn it into a story – and let your kids change the ending however they want. Bonus points: Add an illustration or act out the story and film your own mini movie.
- Menu Monday. Once a week, invite your children to choose what’s for dinner – or dessert. Bonus points: Have them pick a dessert recipe and make it together so they can see their opinions come to fruition.
- Storytelling Wednesdays. Choose five random things from around the house. Challenge your child to create a story incorporating all five items. They can write or record themselves telling the story (include music to add to the magic!). Bonus points: Connect with a grandparent, a friend, or someone else of your child’s choice, and share the gift of stories with others.
- New Friend Friday. Read together for 15-20 minutes. If your child is younger or is resistant to reading, let them choose whatever they’d like to read (it could be a picture book, a comic book or even a set of Pokemon cards!) and read aloud to them. If your child prefers to read on their own, then you pick up a book too and simply enjoy the love of reading together. Bonus points: When your time is up, each of you talk about a character you liked. Imagine the character is your friend in real life. What would you do together?
As I’ve been working with children during this time, and navigating the nuances of school, my mind has been spinning. What could I offer to provide children with greater emotional and academic support? With that question in mind, I got to work.
Kids don’t always know how to get their needs and emotions out verbally. Yet, my experience as an educator has shown me they frequently are able to do both through art. So while I can’t give our kids ‘normal,’ I can give them a safe place to be creative and to express the stress they’re feeling through art and journaling.
Drip, Drop and Drizzle: A Journal to Grow Your Child’s Creativity is the resource I created to be that safe place. Filled with prompts and activities, this journal:
Not only are children encouraged to practice the art of journaling in a fun, low key manner, they are also free to express their feelings on the page through art and story-telling — which is sure to prompt more and more ideas.
And for parents? Imagine ...
- The potential for even better lines of communication between you and your child, as a result of children being encouraged to express themselves about difficult topics.
- Quality time for your child away from digital screens and devices. Whether you actively engage in the journal together, or simply share quiet time as your child works in Drip, Drop & Drizzle and you read your favorite book, you’re sure to both be enriched.
- And at the end of it all? A memento of your child’s younger years you’re both sure to cherish as they grow into adulthood.