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Opinion / Program Design, Development, and Quality

Parents, Your Grit and Resilience Matters Now Too!

parents teaching daughter to ride a bike

I know, I know, you keep hearing it… “It’s been a weird, scary, and wild time in history!”

And maybe you’re thinking, “There’s so much we have no idea about! What could possibly be next? How do we get ready for fall if school districts aren’t even ready? What will school and afterschool look like? What about my own job? How can I work from home and keep parenting my kids? I am not equipped!”

stick figure family portrait

Your questions are seen and valid. You are not alone.

I have been hearing these questions happen all around me: on social media, with friends, and in other news articles. At the same time, I am also witnessing that parents are tired and feeling hopeless. Further, kids are BORED, RESTLESS, and even ANXIOUS. There is a feeling of guilt and overwhelming parental responsibility happening with my friends, and they are starting to give up on trying. They are feeling defeated by these circumstances. They are giving up on providing opportunities for their kids to stay creative, structured, learning, and then the result is the dependency on TECHNOLOGY.

Don’t get me wrong, we need technology more than ever now. And still, we must monitor what’s happening to our kids — especially if they are using devices during #StayAtHome as their ONLY source of entertainment. There is research behind too much technology usage on developing young brains.

A gentle message, “Parents- DON’T GIVE UP NOW! Push a little harder on yourselves to stay vigilant and don’t lean on devices as babysitters.”

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and tired and anxious about the present and future, you are not alone (and you know that).

But what will differentiate you from other families is how you manage this challenging time. How can you stay mindful and proactive instead of being victimized by these very real current events? How can you be their superheroes?

illustration of a superhero couple

Below are a few ideas that may be reminders for you. Hopefully they are reminders that excite you and will lengthen your list of options. In the long run, your kids will be grateful that you were looking out for them, inspiring and caring for them like a master planner during this unpredictable time for all of us.

1 – Keep a Schedule! Share this tool for your older kids, have them enter some activities they can do the keep busy. Here is an actual work schedule for school days at home good for younger kids, presented by fellow BOOST Blogger @mangomary. For summertime, cut it in half and keep your kids learning this summer! Prevent summer learning loss. Kids need structure as much as they need rest and relaxation.

2 – Read together with younger kids and request that the older kids find a few fun summer reading books. Start them reading again. Even audio reading is better than constant gaming or TikToking.

3 – Take a Virtual Family Trip to the Great Wall of China or to Canada to explore the Tundra with Polar Bears (learn even more from a video Q&A in 2 parts).

4 – Go for family walks or safely visit parks and beaches where they are open.

family playing in water on a lawn

5 – Back to basics: Play charades, board games, do puzzles, learn a new card game, or karaoke.

6 – Find fun educational resources online vs mindless empty content, do not let their beautiful minds become under stimulated during #StayAtHome. If you are using devices, try these!

7 – Have you found another family that you feel safe with? Coordinate visits and activities so that you all have something to look forward to. Stay 6 ft apart, wear masks,  socialize when you’re ready!

8 – Get involved, volunteer where it’s safe and you and the family can do a project together. Or do something online.

9 – Current events- this is wild time in history, find an article a day, read it as a family, have your kids find the article. Discuss it at dinner, make sure they understand what is happening.

10 – Read articles on Edutopia about summer learning loss.

Maybe you have ideas to add? Please leave them below in the comments section, everyone can benefit.

Building your resiliency skills is during hard times will be the best model for your kids! And more importantly, dig your heels in, because we have a wild ride ahead of us.

For breakfast, I have been doing intermittent fasting for two months, time to tuck in the belly!

Author: @juliagabor

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In 2014, Julia was awarded the Women Making a Difference by U.S. Senator of California Lou Correa for her contributions in youth programming in Orange County, CA. In, 2013 Julia received the OSTI award from BOOST for her contribution to out-of-school time individuals by providing innovative approaches to support students, families and communities. Julia currently develops tailored training's and facilitates workshops for educators, non-profit organizations, mentor professionals and students. She works with you to create strategies for educational programs to enhance student success and a productive future. She also will establish effective practices for staff communication and leadership. As the Director of Education at WRiTE BRAiN WOLRD Julia is built, expanded and introduced the WRiTE BRAiN BOOKS curriculum into education communities across the country. WRiTE BRAiN BOOKS inspires creativity while applying project- based literacy and builds 21st Century skills. In only two and a half years WRiTE BRAiN BOOKS is being implemented in 41 states with 45,000 student becoming published authors of their own children’s book. While at the Tiger Woods Foundation (TWF), Julia launched a college internship program for sports management, hospitality, event planning and marketing majors from universities across the country. Julia develops specialized programs ranging from activity based curriculum in a variety of different educational areas to creating a collegiate mentor program. Starting in 2006, Julia managed a national character education program called- Tiger's Action Plan, a free youth development curriculum that focuses on leadership, goal setting, service learning and career exploration. Prior to joining TWF, Julia was a Coordinator for the After School All - Stars in Los Angeles, where she taught a range of middle school enrichment classes- from personal leadership to sports, to performance and visual art classes. Julia has been teaching/leading groups since she was a teenager working alongside her mother, who is an acting teacher and coach in the USA and Europe. Julia has served as a trainer/facilitator in disguised learning and cultural diversity throughout California. In 2009, Julia received the Honored Educator Award from California State Fullerton University for dedication to education in Orange County, CA. Miss Gabor is a graduate of the State University of New York, Fredonia receiving her bachelor's degree in the Fine Arts. She received her Master’s in Educational Leadership from Antioch University in 2012.

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