COLORADO SPRINGS — Whether your kids are doing on-line learning, in person learning or a hybrid approach their routines can quickly be turned upside down with a positive case of COVID-19. Even symptoms of the virus can put schools or learning groups in quarantine, throwing an immediate monkey wrench in any established routines.
So how can we help our kids with consistency through it all? Spencer Owen is a Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate with Thriveworks Counseling in Colorado Springs who says helping our kids through the ever-changing pandemic learning environment is a challenge and keeping a proper perspective is key.
“Parenting is not for cowards, it’s a difficult job under the best of conditions and these are pretty difficult conditions, especially for a lot of people. I always tell parents you can only do what you can do.”
Kids do thrive when their environment is structured and familiar, but structure and routine don’t have to mean they are going to the same class room Monday through Friday.
Spencer says, “A routine structure is always in a certain context. Kids are designed to be adaptable, flexible and resilient - they are really good at that.”
If you find your child is struggling right now, Spencer says a good place to start is by asking yourself, how involved are you in your child's education. “The biggest thing to keep in mind for parents is to make the message, and the behavior that they give to their kids, consistent, committed and compassionate for the kids.”
Parents can often search for exactly the right thing to say to their kids to motivate them, or having a teaching moment. Spencer says while it’s important to be thoughtful about what you say to your kids, being consistent in following up on expectations already established will go much further in motivating you kids than any words you may say to them.
“With consistency it's important to try as much as possible to set up the expectations ahead of time and to continually check in with them over time. That way the kid gets the message that this matters, my parent is invested in it. That's really where the kid's motivation and investment starts is when the parent is invested in them.”
We'll hear more from Spencer in the coming weeks with more advice on helping kids through these unique times in their education.
If you are interested in speaking with a counselor either in person or on-line, 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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