Friday 16 October 2020

Online Education And Evolved Parenting Mantras In Pandemic Times

 The last seven months have changed us all and I would say for good, despite all the hardships we are facing due to the pandemic. We are far more independent in our work, fitter, eat healthily, and have learned to survive happily in bare minimums. But still, home confinement or limited movement is so stifling. Particularly my heart goes out to our little ones who are trapped indoors. No friends, so sunlight and no outdoor play or travel. Long online school hours are the new normal and thereafter assignments and preparations for exams. 

As an educator and a mom, while on one side I am glad that very smoothly we transitioned to online schooling to keep the little precious pieces of our hearts safe and also engaged, the other side of me feels paranoid seeing the baffling screen times. Kids need much more than education and that’s why I insist parenting needs to evolve in this online education era. This EVOLUTION is vital for the happiness of our little loves as well as our own contentment. Here, I share some significant mantras that have worked wonders for me. 

1.Buddy Parenting

At all points, we must not forget that children can’t express their feelings like we adults can. We may never know how their fragile tiny minds are processing things. Thus in these testing COVID times, it shall be the best if we parents, step into the shoes of being their buddies because they aren’t meeting their actual friends with whom they candidly opened their hearts while playing or strolling. Buddy parenting has always been my style so it’s easy for me but even if you like to maintain some discipline in your relationship with your kiddo, this is the time they need you as their friend the most, so evolve and ease in your parenting style and ease a little. Engage in fun banter with them and a must cuddling talk at the bedtime.

2. Be Patient

These are the times when even we adults are often losing our balance. So think of these delicate blooming buds, it is but natural that they turn a little short-tempered or get on your nerves more often. I know it’s not going to be easy but we really need to be patient with them. Follow this forcibly a few times and you will be surprised how they absorb your calmness. More often than not, they are imitating the way we tackle things. Particularly in these times, we are their only role models. In situations when you just can’t take it, just avoid the scene, withdraw to your room, deep breath, and distract by doing something you love like reading your book or watching your favorite series on Netflix. It will be good for them as well as you, we really need to evolve in our approach and talk to them about it at a more favorable time, showing them the right path.

3. Give Space

Please don’t hover over the kids during the online school or even otherwise, they were on their own in the schools, let it be similar at home. In fact, this is perfect timing for them to embrace independence comfortably. Let them do self-study and approach you when stuck. It will be a win-win situation for all. While the kids feel happy, confident, and independent, you will get much more valuable time for yourself. Don't worry if they get fewer marks once, its a part of their getting on their own process.

4. Treat them as equals

The kids may be feeling low or lonely but not feeling comfortable sharing, we can in small ways lift their moods and boost their self-esteem by making them a part of decision-making like what shall be the special menu for lunch or the theme, decoration, and cake of mamma's birthday party. Children value the feeling of equality a lot. They feel good when their opinion is valued or they are made responsible for a certain thing. Since they are not spending their time with their equals, ensure that they have a say at home as equals.

5. Let them explore

Treat these times as a welcome break for our kids from their extremely busy getting up early, rushing to school schedules, and let them explore whatever stream they love and would love to hone their skills on. The more they research the better it shall be for them for they will learn to make choices. Decision making is a vital trait this free time exercise can aid them to acquire. 

6. Don’t overburden them with back to back classes

It is not necessary that your child need to be a coder because coding classes are the new in. If it is not their interest it will be an additional burden on them plus increased screen time which is worse. At any point in time, a child should not be enrolled in more than one online activity class is the thumb rule. In fact give them free time, the more free time they have, the more time they have to embrace every nuance of the world and make informed choices later in life.

7. Chalk lockdown goals

Have fun discussing their goals and share yours too. It can lead to surprising results over a period of time for example seeing you write a book, they may like to pen one. When they will see you focused on yours, they will slowly feel more aligned to there and that’s more than enough.

Let’s ensure these tough times pass as smoothly as they can and let’s support our little treasures during this tough phase. Parenting really needs to evolve keeping pace with the drift online education has brought on our lifestyles during this pandemic phase and above were some of the recommendations from my side. Please take care of your little buds delicately, so that they bloom into beautiful flowers as these times pass.

Truly Yours Roma

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