The scenario –
During this time when children are home from school due to COVID-19, many parents are working from home as well and wondering how to stay productive as both workers and parents. Parents are also placing a lot of pressure on themselves to keep the kids on track.
The situation is not anything most of us (or any of us) have experienced before, especially for the duration we anticipate, yet we somehow want to do it all. We are trying to create the same result we had before – keeping up the same level of job productivity working from home, while providing the kids with a similar learning experience and performance. It certainly may be possible, but it redefining our goals, including what we want to see for ourselves and our families, may be helpful in the given circumstances. By deciding what is most important to us now, and then aligning the available resources (including time, money, physical/mental/emotional energy) toward our goals, we can find more fulfillment.
It also may help focus on the idea of “sufficiency” – the idea of “enough”. That we are enough. That what we are doing is enough. That what are children is doing enough. If we do our best, we can choose to see that as enough. It usually is.
Here’s an example: Kids are at home from school while you are working from home, due to stay-at-home recommendations during COVID-19. The schools send guidance to you and/or your kids through email.
Thoughts that may come up for you:
“What I’m doing for my kids now might affect them in the long-term.”
“There isn’t enough structure.”
“I don’t want to get overly involved.”
“There is too much time that could easily be wasted.”
Approaches that can help:
- Reframing: If you are thinking that there is a lack of structure, question that thought. How might it be that the opposite is true? Can believing that there is structure help open up your mind to how you can help your children more?
- Letting go of scarcity: Notice the scarcity (idea of “not enough”) in the above thoughts.
- I’m not doing enough to keep them on track.
- There’s not enough structure.
- The kids aren’t doing enough.
- Keeping things light: What if the things that we saw as problems weren’t really problems? Example – What if it might be okay that the kids don’t spend their whole day on schoolwork or “productive” activity? Could you look at this situation playfully or laugh at it? We don’t really have to allow the kids to go the whole day without direction. However, letting go of the belief that lack of perceived structure is bad may let us approach our kids from a calmer space. They might then be more responsive to our suggestions. We’ll be more at ease.