After School Advantage: Managing Expectations

Most parents are very involved in their children’s lives. On any given day, the average parent would ask their child, how their day was when they reunited in the afternoon after a day apart at work and school. They would check up on their grades, some even attended PTA meetings and did everything they could to support their children’s educational journey. Now in light of  Covid, many are now forced to be at home with their children. In order to observe new protocols, many are either working from home or sadly, some have lost employment all together. Add this to the fact that many are now being called upon to be involved in  their children’s schooling more  than ever before. How on earth does one manage?

Well the first thing I would suggest is that you manage your expectations of yourself.
Be realistic about what you can and cannot do.
If you have spousal support, fewer children and the freedom to sit with and be engaged during your child’s virtual sessions then great. However, if this is not your reality that’s okay too.  Do the best that YOU can. Comparison is the theft of joy. Don’t rob yourself of this unique opportunity to spend this quality time with your children. They grow up so fast.

Secondly you must manage the expectations of your spouse. Communicate your needs to them. Don’t assume they could see it and should know. Ask for help and support. This “new normal” is not normal for all parties involved. You didn’t choose this, it chose you.  Remember that you’re in this together and you will get through it.

Communicate with your children.
This is an aberration  from their norm. Ask them how they feel and most importantly listen. Let them know that for it to work more seamlessly that their cooperation is mandatory. Let them know what you need from them to make it work.

Communicate with external family members.
Do you need help for a certain number of hours during the day while you prep meals or take care of a baby? Or perhaps you have a pressing project for work. Call in the reinforcements, if available.  Don’t be afraid or ashamed.  Every family’s dynamic is different. To compare yours to another is like comparing apples and oranges.

And on this note, don’t forget to communicate with your children’s teachers.
If you have a situation that would hinder your child from attending class or completing an assignment let them know, I promise you they are reasonable and understanding.

Finally, talk to your bosses. Everyone is in the same boat, for the most part. Many would be sympathetic to your situation. Negotiate your hours if possible but be willing to compromise and show that you are willing to make up the slack.

We are all on this together and we will all be stronger together.