I am hearing from and reading about a lot of parents who are struggling with managing their own guilt and shame around being in a state of isolation with their children and having to add to their already difficult role of parent, chef, disciplinarian, consoler, teacher, etc.
It is critical that we all obey the directives and socially distance from one another in this unprecedented time of global pandemic. But now is also a time for a PIVOT, seeing the road and taking the opportunity not to stop, shut down or fall into a sink hole, but to stand in place, see the obstacle and turn to face another direction. The new road will no doubt have its own obstacles but on that new road, parents need to learn to travel with kindness and patience with themselves.
Self care is NOT selfish. Be kind to yourself.
When the anxious thought is, “I should be able to do this”, or “every other parent is able to manage it all”, feelings of blame and shame are activated.
When our anxious thought is turned inward, we feel shame.
“This is hard.”
“I am struggling.”
“There must be something wrong with me.”
When your anxious thoughts are turned outward, we become angry and blame others, often lashing out and causing new problems.
“If only the kids would just sit and listen to me.”
“My partner should be helping me more.
Remember that it is NOT TRUE that home schooling is a breeze in everyone else’s home.
Remember that your learning style and methods may be different than each of your child’s.
Remember that you and your child are NOT falling behind. This is a new road and there is no speed limit and no ETA.
Remember that each sheet filled in and each fact learned is not more important than your child feeling loved, understood, and accepted by you.
Learning new skills is hard. Suddenly becoming your child’s school teacher is very difficult. Remember to keep your eyes focused on the new road. On this road, you need to open the windows and breathe. Create some fun stops along the way. That is what your children will remember.