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Parenting in the Pandemic

By Denise Teo

This unprecedented time calls for unprecedented ways of parenting. We are not just working from home, we are parenting WHILE working from home, at the same time we are juggling sometimes more than one home based learning schedule, on top of keeping our kids sane and alive. Suffice to say, the demands of being a parent and an employee in this pandemic is taking a toll on all of us.

Team ELC cares and we have come up with 5 ways to help us be more effective in parenting while in this pandemic.

 

1. Communicate with team players at home - At the top of the day, communicate with your partner or any other adult in the home, the timings in which you need to be on calls or tend to work related responsibilities without being interrupted. Communicating with your children on who they can go to for help during pockets of time helps too. So the person who is on call and doing “important work” will not be interrupted.

 

Communication with colleagues and team mates about new work arrangements and when you can be on “online” and “on tasks” will help to align expectations during this time. “I may not be able to reply to you immediately but I will by the end of the day at 9pm.”

 

2.  Manage your energy  - Do not manage your time, but manage the tasks that are required for you to complete in a day. Instead of allocating time for these tasks. Try to allocate your energy to each task. In times like this, time is a precious commodity that is shared across many responsibilities and it is not practical to manage our time.

 

3. Building a routine which is flexible - Children love predictability as much as spontaneity. There is a fixed time for learning, playing, meal preparation, eating and outdoor experiences. Routines help to set the tone for the day, it also helps you to find pockets of time where you can work without being interrupted. For spontaneity, try to incorporate fun activities such as camping in the living room, breakfast in bed, movie mornings (why not right), board game bonanzas and picnic lunches.

 

4. Work at night if absolutely necessary - Sometimes if you have been constantly interrupted in the day, devote an hour or an hour and a half in the night after the children go to bed to finish your essential work. Try not to make it a habit, you need time to unwind and reconnect with your family members.

 

5. Self Care - Remember to set aside self care time during parts of the day e.g, when your child naps or eats. A quick stretch, a walk in the estate, a cup of coffee, a call with a friend or family member can be a wonderful mood lifter in times like these.

 

It would be good to know that there are basically 3 kinds of experiences that can be offered to your children at home:

This is an example that you can use to plan your work tasks for the day and fit in the corresponding activity for the child and which adult they can go to for help. Hence, not all requests go to one single adult leaving him/her feeling overwhelmed.

Believe it or not, our children need us more than ever, no 3 year old is going to sit down and tell you he/she is feeling anxious about the changes in routines. It is hard for them to understand why they cannot go to school and have play dates, why they cannot see their grandparents or why they cannot go to their favourite playground anymore. When does this madness end? Our children tend to act up when all they need for us to be fully present. So try your best to be fully present while with your children. Put the phone and the laptop away and just be with them for that couple of minutes. They need a predictable, comfortable home base, to tell them, “Hey, there are many things you don't understand, but you are safe and well here at home with me.”

 

We are not sure when this season will end, or if it is a new norm we need to get used to. But let’s make this season count for our children as well as ourselves. Let’s look back and see this season as great growth and adapting to new norms that will help us to be more confident parents.

Team ELC

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