What are you reevaluating?
Parents and teachers are struggling right now, all around the world. How do we do THIS? How do we parent and teach, at home, in a crisis? What do we hold on to, and what do we let float away? We’re all reevaluating so many things right now.
I’m getting to see the struggles and successes of parents and teachers from all ends of the spectrum right now. I lead one school, support others, and work with parents around the world —and some patterns are emerging around what is helping people not only survive during this time of strain and disruption, but to thrive.
Two key ingredients for thriving:
The first is this: Learn and grow BECAUSE of what is happening right now, not IN SPITE of it. One of the most damaging aspects of school and parenting is that we adults do the job of evaluating what’s important, and then make kids do it. There is such incredible opportunity right now to evaluate, together, what is important—to each of us individually, to our families and communities, for our readiness to reemerge into a new world—and to co-create a plan to get there together. There is no better curriculum in the world for children right now, no better preparation for life.
The second key ingredient is this: Move from “power-over” to “power-with”. I know so many families right now who are struggling with how to manage what we are all juggling, especially when it comes to our kids. How do we help them process this crisis? What about homework? screen time? chores? And what about our needs? The approaches I see NOT working are 1) adults stating what is and must be and enforcing it with our power and might, and 2) the opposite of that, giving up on our needs and our hopes and disengaging from our kids—finding it easier to serve their whims than argue over anything. What I see working is when adults work with kids in partnership—not the normal kind where we invite them to partner with us to meet our needs, but a true partnership, where we approach need from a place of equity and mutual respect. From that rooted, supported space, I see families able to meet the needs of the household, of job, of school, of emotion—with resilience and grace.
I have two resources to offer you right now that are tailored to this moment.
1) TOOLS FOR THRIVING Free content from my Homebound Parenting class which I offer with Alliance for Self-Directed Education (ASDE) Executive Director Bria Bloom. We are making videos available for free which cover the content we offer in our four-part class on Surviving Homebound Parenting. We talk about the principles of Partnership Parenting and examine them in practice around four key areas that are so real for parents right now: Chores, Homework, Screen Time, and Structure.
2) The Surviving Homebound Parenting live online coaching workshop, where we take that same content and work with attendees’ individual situations to understand what it looks like in practice. Our next class starts May 14th at 10AM PDT.
We’re all facing challenges of varying degrees right now, and each person’s trails are real for them—no less or more valid because of how they stand in relation to others. One thing we can all do, which can lessen the load, whatever our situation, is to recognize that we don’t need to pretend everything is okay for our kids. Of course we do not want to overwhelm them with our worries or fears, but we and they both benefit when we let our vulnerability show, and model for them how to not know exactly what to do in each moment and yet to face it with faith that our values and our care for each other will help guide us through.
All my very best from me and my family to you and yours.