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Take One Day at a Time and Breathe!

Take One: It’s a Set-up

arms and hands of person holding their watch so they can clearly see the time of day
Waiting can be quite a challenge in our high tech world.

Let’s face it – we can be the most impatient people in the world at times! Tell us we can’t solve a problem in the usual nanosecond that it takes for us to complete an Amazon order and we want to scream!  Make us wait too long on the phone for a real person to respond and we hang up in exasperation. Even waiting for a skillet of food to cook is often beyond our capabilities in the patience department. Our modern fast-paced technological world sets us up for disappointment and frustration when moments in our day take longer than we think they should. If you are monitoring your children’s schooling virtually at home while also holding down a full-time job, you understand this all too well.

Day: This is a Crazy Time

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.

Attributed equally to Winston Churchill and Zig Ziglar

In our new era of “learning at home,” drumming up some extra patience during trying situations may be even more challenging than normal. Let’s face it; children are pros at throwing a wrench into our best-laid plans. They don’t even have to put much effort into it. So, in many ways, it should be expected that your patience will wear thin at times. Although it is likely that the school system will set the schedule and directions, YOU set the tone. Is there an atmosphere of calmness in your home? Or is everyone on edge and angry about the changes? Then take time to work on your own attitude first. Give yourself some grace.

The last thing children need is stressed-out parents. Children may be the only ones in school, but they are not the only ones learning. We ALL are learning how to navigate in this crazy pandemic world. Some of you are learning how to make your home be both a workplace and a school. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Take one day at a time and breathe.

two boys jumping on a bed, having a pillow fight with feathers flying everywhere. all over the bedroom, making our day a potential problem
Children throwing a wrench into our plans, or an opportunity for laughter and grace?

At a Time: Exercise Grace

Change the way you look at things, and watch the things you look at change.

Wayne Dyer (1940-2015), motivational speaker  

Once you have arranged your home life to accommodate these catastrophic changes remember that your children also need time to adjust. Their whole world has been completely turned upside down. They might not be able to swing into gear as quickly as you would like or need. They will need to know that everything is going to be ok. Even if you find yourself longing for that same assurance, you will need to provide your child with the comfort and steadiness of your presence, your guidance, and your love. That is way more important than how much school they are accomplishing right now. Unless they are secure in this new environment for learning, they will not be successful learners.

They also will need help understanding how to fit into this new way of learning. Make sure they know how to participate in their school’s virtual arrangement, as well as each teacher’s system. Set some hard and fast standards for how they will accomplish the assignments and interact with the teacher and classmates.

Depending upon the ages of your children, do not assume they are mature enough to be left on their own with the computer. Be sure safeguards are in place to protect them during screen time. Do not be afraid to set up their daily schedule. If they are older, include them in this process. However, be sure to follow through by checking that they are being responsible with their time each day. All of this takes time and patience. None of it is easy. Give your children the same measure of grace you gave yourself. Take one day at a time and breathe.

And Breathe: An Attitude of Patience

a note to self on a blackboard next to pen cup, computer, and headphones - a reminder that you've got this - one day at a time!
One day at a time!

These changes and adjustments are not intuitive or natural, but they are important to our well-being. Time to figure out what works and what doesn’t is necessary for all of us. Don’t let disappointment and frustration rule your day.  Be patient with your children as they grow accustomed to this new way of learning. Be patient with yourself as you navigate all these changes and remember:  Take one day at a time and breathe!

Changes take time. They do not take place overnight.      

Lombardi, Vince (1913-1970)

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