If it were not anxiety inducing enough to have six weeks with your child or children to keep them entertained, but this is not normal times, so you are likely to have been home schooling or organising holiday time, you may have been doing this since March. And, there is probably a festering stress not knowing when children will return to school, and your own parental feelings on allowing them to return to the classroom. Whilst some parents are now feeling happy in their bubble with everyone at home, as the six - week holiday gradually moves on and the idea of the bubble bursting may seem unnerving. And, as time slowly progresses on from that last normal school day in March, you are probably wondering how your child or children are coping with life away from the school day routine. Then there is the further anxiety if you are home-schooling and having to work; and if you add in the holiday and the other anxieties you may feel your stress levels rising sky high. I am sure these feelings are shared by parents worldwide.
Is This You? As we have already seen, some individuals may trigger healthy anxiety reactions, but if you are feeling stressed, it is understandable. So, my first advice, is to follow my one-minute breathing exercise. Simply place your hand under your navel to allow you to feel your boy rise and fall. Then, breathe in and out for several seconds, hold for three seconds, breathe out and pause for three seconds. As you repeat several times, let The Now engulf you letting distracting or anxious thoughts fly by.
It is all too easy to let anxious thoughts fog reality, so whenever you feel this is happening, follow this Exercise and you will calm down quickly. Furthermore, the home - schooling plan, included in this course, will be available for as long as is necessary, and it is associated with my lifestyle plan. These can be adapted for the summer holidays, and suggestions as to how to do this are included in the material. As much as the six weeks are about the holidays, it can always be useful to include some slight structure like that of home schooling. It can also help if you are worried about the long period without formal education. Why not have a fun Project (detailed in the home-schooling time plan) and can be related to any curriculum area and incorporate Discovery Learning? For instance, day trips to visit historical locations or places of natural beauty once a week. And, throughout your child or children could keep a journal of what they learned, liked, disliked or enjoyed about the day? This is similar to a meditation journal, and as you will learn about later on in the course something my parents encouraged me to complete when I was growing up – there is even a snippet from something I wrote Aged 7 for you to see. If you are including Project Time, it may be helpful to follow a similar time to that detailed in my plan to ensure a structure. Other activities could be learning a language which would also enhance short and long-term memory or researching a family tree.
If you are working from home and having to manage the family, here are some other life-coaching suggestions: -
- Be Flexible: put your family’s needs first and check your online schedule by ranking tasks in order of importance. Try to complete those placed at the top of the list first and adapt to parking other tasks to later in the day or complete the following day. With this flexibility you may find having to catch-up in evenings and at weekends.
- Ask Me Later: if you cannot be in the same room, say for an important conference call, use the “Ask Me Later” strategy. This is simply a spiral bound notepad, with “Ask Me Later” written on it, meaning older children can write down questions or thoughts that may arise when you are not there. When you return, give as much time as needed to deal with any discussions required. Such a procedure can also be used in general home - schooling/ home principles as teaches children to be independent. To do this you need to explain what Urgent is and what can be Parked until your return.
- Go with The Day: expect days not to go smoothly as compared to being in the office! No doubt, things will go wrong, like the kitchen sink needing to be unblocked, your child or one of your children having a tantrum over something, you need to complete an important report for work and forgotten half the ingredients for dinner. So, try not to panic! Use the breathing skills, such as the suggestion earlier and others featured in this course. Go with the mantra “Go with The Day” and “You Can Only Do Your Best.”
There are more suggestions in the online course material.
Please Note: life-coaching strategies can help objectives be met and incorporate planning and time-keeping models. As part of my BSc I studied Child Development, I am aware of educational approaches, but I am not a qualified teacher, and these discussions are related to life coaching.