Empowering Your Kids During Distance Learning
Welcome to your new normal. Every day is different. The future is ever-changing. Back-to-school this year has a whole new meaning. Hybrid learning, distance learning, independent self-study and online courses are on the academic menu for our kids.
Homeschooling may not be what you signed up for when you held your bundle of joy. So, how on Earth are you going to do this? By empowering your children, motivating them and inspiring them to learn.
Children’s stress, anxiety and depression is at an all-time high right now. You may be a bit stressed yourself. Guess what? It’s ok to feel this way. How can you and your kids move away from that feeling? Through question. These feelings distract you from parenting and it’s distracting your kids from learning.
How many of you reading this are trying to get it right as a parent? How many of you make yourself wrong for messing up or having a bad moment? What if you showed your kids you don’t have to get it right? Making mistakes is an opportunity to learn and from that, you can choose something different. It’s as easy as counting to ten.
Remember, what you think and say becomes your reality. The same is even more true for kids. What are they buying into about this whole distance learning thing? As the parent, how can you change the negative mood to positive? Ask a question. To create an inspiring space for learning, (not the physical space), but the energy of the space in your home, choose something new:
Ask questions in a different way. The language you choose has an interesting effect on children. Instead of asking, “Did you do your homework?”, try asking, “I noticed you had a bit of homework today, how can I contribute?” The first question is a bit of a trap and children hear it as an accusation, so they immediately go into a defensive space. The second option offers support with the energetic message, “I’m here if you need me.”
Ask a question instead of offering advice. What is true for you, may not be true for your child. Instead of saying, “I know you don’t like to read, I wasn’t much of a reader either, but you’ve got to finish the assignment.”, try asking, “What would it take to get this reading done on time and what do you need from me to support you?” The first statement is a point of view that locks the idea “I don’t like to read” in place and shuts the door to motivate your child’s ability to complete the assignment. The second option invites the opportunity for the child to accomplish the assignment with you as their cheerleader.
Ask a question when they ask you a question. When learning becomes a block for a child, frustration mounts and suddenly you are called in as Teacher. It may be easier to just give them the answer, but you take away, rather than empower their ability to figure it out. Instead of asking, “What do the instructions say? Where is the example in the book? Here, you do it like this....”, try asking, “Let’s see, hmmm…what do you know?” The first example can be interpreted by kids as, “Did you even try?” or “You should know this.” This is soul-crushing to a student learning how to learn. The second example shows curiosity and encourages children to teach YOU how to do it.
When you empower your kids to succeed by asking a question you motivate and inspire them to embrace distance learning in a different way.
Want to explore more? Join me for a free Zoom call on July 29th, 2020. Or, schedule a session today.