Parents of school-age children the country over have been struggling since the start of quarantine for coronavirus. How should you care for kids who can barely care for themselves—and who don’t really understand what’s going on? How should you balance taking care of your needs—and work/financial obligations—when your kids are with you 24/7? There are no easy answers. Many schools have attempted to salvage the latter half of the school year by offering “distance learning”. In theory, this tech-y solution should be a godsend. Children can keep learning while staying safely away from school, and they can get some much-needed socialization time with peers.
However, many parents have neither skill nor time to act as proxy teachers—a frustration captured superbly by an Israeli mom’s viral rant about distance learning.
So what can you do with limited time and patience?
Prioritize Everyone’s Safety and Basic Needs
Feed your children. Keep them clean and safe. Make sure they get enough sleep. Prevent them from doing risky activities. In the months ahead, when quarantines relax, and we inch back to a more normal routine, you can (once again) sweat challenges like making sure your children aren’t glued to their screens for hours a day.
Communicate with Teachers
If distance learning is too burdensome, or if you don’t have the equipment or resources to keep up, make your needs know. Teachers are trying to figure this out as well, and they should be willing to help you develop a rhythm.
Lean on Supports
If you’re living with a spouse or partner, strategize to split the burden. Perhaps an older child can take on more responsibility—for instance, helping with bath time or diaper duty. You can also try getting virtual help. A grandparent can FaceTime with your 5 year-old while you cook dinner.
Figure Out What Works Over Time
You won’t know in advance which strategies will work for your family. Instead, adopt a curious posture. Try different things with your children, and keep what works for you. For instance, maybe a later dinner and bedtime during the quarantine will make it easier for you to get work done in business hours. Perhaps your 11 year-old can help your second grader with homework in exchange for an extra helping of dessert.
This situation isn’t easy for anyone. We get it. But remember that our legal team is here to help you and keep your case moving, whether you suffered a personal injury months ago or during quarantine. Connect with us for help any time.