Here we go into lockdown again.
Rather than focusing on what we are not looking forward to, what can we look forward to and reflect on from the learnings of last time?
There is no doubt our hearts were saddened at the idea that once again, we were going into stage 3 lockdown restrictions across Melbourne.
In our household, as the news broke, there was the thrill of excitement from one child (an extra week of holiday and learning in trackpants) but from the other, deep sadness and worry.
Managing expectations of what Term 3 will look like when life is so uncertain for our young people right now will no doubt pose challenges for us as parents; how we manage that is going to be even more important this time round.
Here are a few ideas to consider that we will be implementing for our family.
Mix it up
Consider moving desks or rooms around so you and your children have a new outlook for your work and their learning.
Look at what worked well for you last time, and what didn’t. Be practical, realistic and measured in your expectations of them but also reiterate the necessity to once again maintain focus during periods of learning.
We are allowed out to exercise. Make sure you encourage and participate in moving. Try a new sport with them. Let them teach you to kick a footy or run 200m efforts with them around the oval (they will probably laugh but don’t worry about it, lots to gain in doing activities that are different as family).
Allow some grace
Pick your battles; know when to step back a little and let things go.
Stick with the routine
Print the routine for the family so everyone can appreciate when it’s work time for you and your children, and when it’s time to break as a family for lunch or walk with the dog. Hopefully your calendars can be coordinated at least some of the time – even if it’s not always perfect.
Talk to your friends, school counsellors, or teachers if you or your child are struggling. There are no heroes in admitting it’s hard.
While we don’t know how long this will go on for, remember to take it day by day. This crazy year of 2020 will be one that we will eventually look back on with amazement at how we all coped. It will be featured in our children’s history classes for years to come and you and your family are a part of making history.
Emily Beaton is a Melbourne-based primary teacher, with a particular interest in boys’ education and the mother of two children, a boy and a girl. This article is about Parenting
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