COLORADO SPRINGS — As more schools are switching to on-line learning right now and the struggles continue for parents and kids trying to adjust to this very unique school year, it's a good time to point out that even if your kids are usually high achievers and don't need much supervision when it comes to their schooling, don't take it for granted that you should check in on them now.
Spencer Owen is a licensed professional clinical counselor with Thriveworks Counseling in Colorado Springs who says, “The biggest thing I would say is to try to make sure kids have investment, that's where the commitment comes in for parents who need to have investment in their kids' education. Make time to learn the process of how learning will be different for their kindergartner versus their third grader versus their middle schooler.”
Yes, that advice applies to high schoolers too. Spencer also adds to not overlook your kids who may usually be high achievers on their own and don't usually need much parental encouraging when it comes to their schoolwork. “Unfortunately, those children sometimes fall through the cracks because they aren't the ones that tend to ask for help a lot. They also aren't the ones that tend to be the focus of much of our attention.”
Many districts going to on-line learning right now are factoring that Thanksgiving break and winter break will be part. Giving kids a much-needed break, or chance to catch up in classes they may be behind on.
Spencer says when it comes to the emotional toll of remote learning and struggling with it, even on a daily basis when kids, a learning at home structure that includes breaks, can help with many issues. “The thing to remember about things like fear and anxiety is that they're in coded very deep in brain structures. Sometimes it helps to do more than talk to sometimes kids about it. Sometimes they need to just take a break from it all and go outside. Played with them and create together, laugh together, throw the ball around, shoot hoops. Go outside safely of course but doing things out and about sometimes helps and that's needed to regulate the intensity of the distress right off the bat.”
Spencer points out that another reality is that even for the usually high achieving kids the efforts they do put forward in remote learning should be praised, even if the grades are not as high as they usually are. “That's where relating to the child becomes really important. To be able to make sure that they get the clear message - that no matter what the performance is - I love you, I care about you. You are my child, and nothing will change that. The way that I frame this to parents is that sometimes they have to invest in the process as well as the product. Trying to make sure that you are engaged with the child throughout the entire process, and not just as at the end of the process or only looking at the end result ”
If you are interested in speaking with a counselor either in person or on-line about getting help with these kinds of issues, or have any questions feel free to reach out to the folks at Thriveworks in Colorado Springs, at (719) 266-3919 or, you can visit their website (https://thriveworks.com/colorado-springs-counseling/)
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