5 Steps to Handle School Closures Like a ProJan 06, 2021
Unless you are one of the lucky few with low Covid rates and open school systems, you have spent the past few months juggling work, parenting and homeschooling. And for most parents, this has been a challenge at best or an absolute nightmare!
Not only have you been tasked with keeping your family healthy, struggling to work from home, and attempting to upgrade your teaching skills, but you've also been tasked with the unthinkable: doing it another semester!
Even your kids, who most likely started the year whooping it up in celebration, have become increasingly disillusioned with the isolation and boredom.
And to make matters worse, your ADHD child has all but eaten the paint off the walls! Or wait, is that you who's been eating the paint?
All joking aside, this is a serious situation as you just found out your children's school isn't reopening and you are stuck at home for the rest of the school year!
Yes, you are exhausted and overwhelmed. What you thought would be a tightening of the belt for a few weeks has turned into months! And quite frankly, the belt is on its last hole.
1) Get Prepared To Settle Into Your New Normal
First and foremost is realizing that the situation isn't going anywhere anytime soon. And your ADHD child is undoubtedly in dire need of some structure and routine. So accept the situation for what it is and begin to settle into your new normal.
- What essential tasks have you been putting off that you need to finally address?
- What physical alterations need to be made to make your temporary situation more practical? For instance, do you need to clean the attic and create a dedicated home office?
- Is it time to develop some better structure and routines? If you've been camping out in front of the TV for dinner each night, it might be time to clean off the table and return to family dinners.
2) Organize your Financial Situation
Stressing about finances is downright scary. We understand! However, sitting back to “see what will happen” is rarely a good idea. Be proactive. If you are stressed, your ADHD child is going to absorb and redistribute that stress. So find ways to handle your stress and develop a sense of overarching calm.
- Make a list of your priority expenses and upcoming bills. Get organized and prioritize!
- Determine which bills are the most critical and then contact your bank, credit cards and utility service. Most organizations have plans in place for emergency situations, so inquire about your options and make arrangements as you are able.
- Contact your local and state offices to inquire about deferments, assistance and other options available during a state of emergency.
- The new normal is frustrating, but remember to not stick your head in the sand! It's time to take action.
3) Hold a Family Meeting
Sit down with your children and calmly address the situation. Answer questions, address fears with facts and remember that too much detail can worry little minds. So be discreet when necessary and stay positive!
- Need a positive change of pace? Have your kids brainstorm some ideas for game nights, cooking themes and out-of-the-box "camping" nights to spice up the boredom!
- The best approach is to stay positive and work to turn the frustrating ordeal into a fun experience, and then watch your children jump on board!
4) Develop a Daily Schedule
Developing and sticking to a routine will keep idle minds (including yours!) from worry and boredom.
- When developing a schedule consider formatting it similar to your children's school day. For example, wake up at the regular time, breakfast, math, reading, break/recess, language arts, lunch/recess, social studies and reading.
- A daily schedule will also provide the time you need to work from home. Small children can watch a movie or color while older children are studying and you are working. This isn’t necessarily going to be easy, but it can be done!
5) Plan Family Projects
One of the joys of a home-quarantine experience is the ability to tackle that overdue project.
- Maybe it's painting the bathroom, making cookies or framing school art projects. Ask your children what they want to work on. You might be surprised at the suggestions!
- Whatever the project, working as a family can provide a fantastic bonding experience.
Focus on the Positive
The most important gift you can provide for your children, especially a child with ADHD, is a positive, calm and stable approach.
Yes, children are adaptable and yes, they will survive. But mental health is not to be taken lightly. Remember, this is all just a blip on the radar-screen of a full lifetime, so look for positive ways to inject fun, curiosity and gratitude into your new normal!
Ivy Wild Kids is passionate about helping families embrace and organize the wild of ADHD, so children can realize their full potential and families can live happier and healthier lives!
We are so excited you found us and look forward to seeing you in our community!