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Working from home isn’t easy — even when you’re an adult. So imagine trying to learn math facts and do science experiments over Zoom when you’re a kid.
That’s the situation millions of kids are finding themselves in right now with remote learning during the pandemic.
Many of them are tired, frustrated, lonely, and anxious — and rightly so.
We spent the last decade limiting kids’ screen time because it’s bad for their brains, and now we’re telling them to stare at a screen all day so they can get an education. On top of that, we’ve taken away their social activities and asked them to do classroom learning without actually being in a classroom.
Clearly, all of these changes could take a serious toll on their psychological well-being. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help your kids grow from this experience — as hard as it may be. Here are some strategies that can help them stay mentally strong when they’re remote learning.
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Validate their feelings
When your child complains that Zoom meetings are boring, resist the urge to tell them how much you would have loved to be able to attend school from home when you were a kid. Knowing you may have liked it won’t help them feel better.
It’s equally important not to insist you had it worse. Telling them you had to walk to school uphill both ways in a snowstorm every day won’t help them feel grateful that they can stay home.
Rather than talk them out of their feelings, validate how they feel. Put a name to what you think they’re feeling by saying something like, “I can see you’re really frustrated by this.” Then, offer some empathy by adding, “It must be hard to sit here all day staring at your computer screen.”
Even if you think their reactions are a bit dramatic, don’t minimize how they feel. Instead, reassure them that it’s OK to feel whatever emotions they have right now.
Reframe words of discouragement
When you hear your child say things like, “This is awful. I’ll never figure out how to do math,” step in and help.
But don’t get caught up in reframing all their negative thoughts for them. Saying, “Yes, you will figure out,” can help but eventually, you want them to learn how to talk back to that negative inner voice themselves.
Ask questions like, “What’s some evidence we have that shows you can figure out how to do math?” Then, you might point out how they’ve made progress in math this year or that they’ve learned a lot of other hard things and they can learn this too.
Looking for evidence to the contrary is a great skill because when you’re not there to reframe their negative thoughts for them, they’ll know what to do.
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Source:: Business Insider