I read the other day, “Parents, prioritize your ability to remain regulated for your child over your ability to provide academic instruction. Academics don’t protect your child from trauma. Your relationship does!” This resonated with me so much it lead me to write these thoughts.
I knew right away there was power in the words for me and my family. It’s March 2020 and we are in a world crisis. After a few phone calls from friends and family being thrown into the world of schooling at home I realized that these words I’d read were not just for me. This message is also for those that have been tossed into waves of uncertainty with little to no prep… oh wait … that is all of us!
We are all in this together. Maybe at differently levels of change and crazy, but each one of us has been effected. THIS is what we need to prioritize….relationships!!!
Stronger Family Relationships
First let’s chat about being parents and now teachers. Some of you maybe even felt like you were failing at the parenting hat before thrown into this fire. You are not alone. Let this simple statement above bring encouragement to you today. It rings true on so many levels.
…prioritize your ability to remain regulated for your child over your ability to provide academic instruction. Academics don’t protect your child from trauma. Your relationship does!”
Don’t get me wrong academics are important and teaching our children is a must. It is important to remember at all times that we are all adjusting to the changes in front of us. All of us. The kids too. I believe that in this season we have an opportunity to walk beside our children and support them like never before. Yes, you may be also taking on the role of teacher and that will be an adjustment. There will be a learning curve on your role, on the technology and even the “new” math! You CAN do it!!! You were meant to do it. You know your kids better than anyone and that means YOU are the best teacher for them during this time. Why? There is a lot of uncertainty and fear out there and our kids are hearing it, and now they get to process it all in the comfort of their home with the people that love them the most.
At the end of the day, at the end of this season your kids will remember a lot of things. They will remember the smiles you had, the jokes and games you played, they will remember the dance parties and the added investment into their life from YOU, their parent. Or they will remember the screaming to get the work done, the arguments of them being too loud, and the frustrations of the all the new things happening.
We have choices….we get to choose!
We have a choice to prioritize relationship over academics. This season won’t last forever. It won’t. And they will have time to catch up. I’m not saying don’t do the work but what I am saying is LOVE on your kids like never before.
I love all things practical so here are a few ideas we can all use:
- Look them in their eyes and tell them you are their biggest cheerleader. Make sure they know you are in their corner during this crazy season. (eye contact)
- Grab them by the hand and speak truth.
- You are smart!
- You can do this!
- You are learning and growing everyday!
- I am proud of you!
- Prioritize having fun together and spending quality time with them.
- Play games
- Make a silly video together
- Release the inner child and let loose!
- Take deep breaths together when emotions are high. Y’all we practice deep breathing almost daily here. It’s so calming.
- Take a break. Some kids need to have that connection time with you before their brain kicks into high gear. Be aware if they need you to pull them aside, disconnect from the work and have a snack and decompress before going back to the assignment.
- Take some extra time at night to ask them about their day. What worked, what didn’t. Let them be apart of the process to help you shape your day. It will empower them in this season of change.
- Start a new hobby that you learn and do together.
- Pray as a family. Our help comes from our Creator and they need to see you grasping on to that Hope.
Let’s make this season count in the lives of our kids.
Stronger Relationship with God
In this season of slowing down, it is important to put our trust where it belongs. I was reading a Bible verse that spoke truth for this season.
Psalm 25:14-15 English Standard Version (ESV)14 The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,
and he makes known to them his covenant.
15 My eyes are ever toward the Lord,
for he will pluck my feet out of the net.
Right now you and I we feel caught in a net. We were just walking along and all of a sudden we were stuck in a place we were not expecting. The truth is that when feet are tangled up and we fight that rope to get free, the situation does not usually resolve. The more we fight, the more tangled we get. The more we take control the more stuck we feel.
Have you ever had to untangle a chord on a toy, or the beads of a necklace? In those moments it is imperative you stay calm and patient as piece by piece, strand by strand so the untangling process can happen. We are all in this net and we have to be still, we have to wait for the Lord to come to our rescue. He is working right now, I know He is. We have a choice to trust that he is working in the midst of the net we find ourselves in.
I mentioned praying as a family and that is very important to model for our kids as well as giving the Holy Spirit control of comforting them. It is also just as important that we are taking time to get in the Word of God and worship Him individually. In the morning, taking time to lay down at his feet, your fears, your feeling of inadequacy and the uncertain future. When we read his Word it tells us His burden is light ( Matthew 11:28-30) it tells us that he even takes care of the birds and He takes care of our tomorrow (Matthew 6:26-34).
In this season prioritize your relationship with God by keeping your eyes on Him, because He alone will give you the peace and wisdom you need to put one foot in front of the other and make every day count.
Stronger Relationship with Friends
Now let’s talk about this new role you may have found yourself in. You need relationships too!
Homeschooling takes a tribe to execute well. Many of your friends and family are in the same boat as you, so don’t be afraid to reach out. Your mental health is important too. Many of us are confined to our homes but we have technology! Use that gift for good. Find a friend that you can stay accountable to in this season. Someone who can ask you the hard questions and who you can vent to. Because trust me friend, there will be venting. The conversations may often be filled with the topic of how crappy the day was, but I encourage you to find at least one good thing a day that you see. Encourage one another to not give up hope. And most of all check up on how the relationships are in your home.
As I get ready to go on a walk around my neighborhood to keep myself happy, healthy, and sane, I just want to ease your mind that in this season you will not ruin your kids. You are doing the best you can to give them hope in the times of change and crisis. You won’t be perfect, none of us are but you can take this time and make it count!
Now go love on your family because the investment will be worth it.
We’d love to hear from you! How are you making the best of this season? Feel free to comment below our write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cheering you on,