Hi there and welcome to Voices of Your Village! Today on episode 135 I fly solo to talk all things returning to school in the time of Covid. I dive in today to hash out some tools for you and concrete things for you to implement while navigating this journey with your kiddos.
Before we start, you can go ahead and download the free guides I have ready for you: one for teachers and one for parents. If you head to the link in my bio on instagram @seed.and.sew or to our facebook group Seed and Sew: Voices of Your Village you can snag them to use as a resource. You can share them in your school or with your parent friends, feel free to share them with whomever you like!
Folks, this back to school time is a wild ride and you don’t have to do this alone. Alright, let’s dive in!
Right now the number 1 thing we are getting questions about here at Seed is this back to school transition. Whether your child is going back in-person, they are doing distance learning, or it is some sort of hybrid, almost all of them will be adjusting to an educational environment that looks different than it ever has before. So, what does this change look like for us as adults as we support our tiny humans?
I am going to break this episode into two parts. Before we talk about how to show up for our kiddos, we have to talk about how we show up for ourselves.
#1 There is so much adult anxiety right now. We often get stuck in the past and the future. But what would it look like to live in the present? Let’s stay away right now from wondering what this will look like in a few months or compare it to what schooling looked like last year, the reality is that if we are unable to be in the present we can’t support our kiddos right now.
In the spring, teachers were thrown in the deep end of adapting to distance learning and now they have spent the summer trying to figure out how to enter this upcoming school year in a way that is best for your kids. This will be the hardest fall many of them have ever had. There has been nonstop conversation with teachers behind the scenes as they prepare for this school year, so they all have a new toolbox to pull from.
One thing that is really important for us as adults is being mindful of what and how we discuss school around the kiddos. If we say things like, “I can’t believe we have to do distance learning again.” in front of our kiddos, they will hear us and probably become anxious because of our anxiety.
So, what does this resiliency look like in adults? The two biggest components are: self-care and having an outlet to process your feelings that isn’t your child.
Here is a hot tip: when I was struggling with anxiety I found myself turning to people who would join me in my anxiety. As I did healing work, I found myself turning to people who are more regulated. When I start feeling fear and I turn to someone who is feeling the same fear, we end up in an anxious spiral together. So, I want you to think for a minute, who can you turn to who will validate and empathize with you but not be codependent? If you feel like you don’t have a person like this, the next best thing is journaling.
#2 So, what does this look like to support the kids? They have been feeling so much of our anxiety for months, they feel dysregulated because all of their routines are different than they were before. Expectations have changed.
First, Visual aid support is crucial for navigating life.If every single day, kiddos don’t know what comes next then every single day they are going to be anxious.
We can support them with a schedule for the day. This schedule does not have to look a certain way or be fancy or laminated, whatever works for you is great. You are creating the schedule that works for your family unit. What we know about the central nervous system is that it needs input about every 90 minutes. We have a free list of sensory rich activities that you can use throughout the day to help regulate your kiddos central nervous system. Also, I have a free webinar for you on calming the central nervous system preventatively and in a reactionary place.
In times of transition we often loosen boundaries. But, kids need clear and consistent boundaries in times of change more than any other time. Because what they are asking is: What is the expectation now? And they will ask you over and over, because that is their job. When you set a boundary it is a child’s job to push it to see if it's real, and it is our job to hold it. This helps them feel safe and reminds them that we are in control, and being in control is not their responsibility.
It has been really cool in our Reparenting Course to see folks develop this toolbox. If you feel that you need guidance in this area, come on in to seedreparenting.com to join all of us in navigating this work together. Lean on us for support, we are here for you.
Until next time,