As we are heading into the most unusual end of the school year any of us have encountered, there are a few things that will help us as parents. We have been homeschooling for a while now and are probably at a point of getting antsy. For many of us, as things start opening up, it could create new challenges.
First, we need to remember to take one day at a time. Matthew 6:34 reminds us not to worry about tomorrow… we just need to focus on today; tomorrow will take care of itself.
Secondly, we need to remember that this is a marathon not a sprint. As the newness of this situation wears off, it is easy to start feeling tired of it. Use and lean on your schedule to get in a good rhythm for your day so that you don’t burn out.
Thirdly, make sure that you are being present with your children. It is so easy for us to become and live in distraction during this time. Some of us may even use distraction as a coping mechanism through this, ie. social media, tv, etc. Make sure to set aside time every day to be 100 percent present with your children. They need us always, but especially now. Take some time to have fun as a family.
Fourthly, give grace! We need to be sure that we are giving ourselves, our spouse and our kids a whole lot of grace right now. Emotions are high, stress is high, and we need to have realistic expectations. One of my favorite quotes is by L.M. Montgomery: “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” Remember everything about this situation is new for all involved.
Lastly, one of the things that has helped me greatly through this time is trying to focus on gratitude. Keep a running list in your house of things you are grateful for. Discuss at the dinner table what happened in the day that you are thankful for. Living in gratitude helps us not become so overwhelmed with everything going on and will help model dealing with difficult situations for our kids.
Remember that we are all in this together right now. I know that one of my goals for this time is that my children remember this as a fun time in their lives. That even though it was different from the norm, I want them to look back on this with fondness. I want them to remember fun family times, dinners together, game and family movie nights. We as parents are the gate keepers of our homes. This is one of the times we need to fight stress and anxiousness. We need to hold onto the fact that ultimately Our Father has us in His hands.
Visit parentingonpurpose.org for more advice from Dr. Bob Barnes and Torrey Roberts.