There’s no question that 2020 has shifted priorities for parents in a big way, especially for divorced parents. Children are already experiencing transition, funds are often too tight for nannies or tutors, and usually, both parents work. At the same time, single parents and their children are becoming more resilient. Be sure to take advantage of all Florida state resources and support, and consider these tips to help you (and your children!) succeed through remote learning.
When you’re juggling this much, you must communicate with those around you. This includes your co-parent (whether you share a residence or not), your child, their teachers, your employer, your friends, and your family. Opening the lines of communication to discuss your schedule, your needs, and your priorities for each facet of your life should start immediately. It can be important, emotionally and logistically, to check in to share worries, needs, and any positive progress. You cannot be everything to everybody, so ask for help and flexibility.
Make the most of teacher conferences
It’s a definite concern for Florida parents that their children will fall behind in school as a result of this new style of learning. First, accept that this is possible, but remember that your kids are inherently intelligent, creative, and will absorb more than you think. But don’t forget to lean on your child’s educators. Make sure to plan ahead for check-ins and conferences with your child’s teachers. For example: meet with your child beforehand and understand how they feel about their remote experience. Consider asking to use a platform that allows for screen-sharing during the meeting so you can share any notes or give examples about certain homework assignments and areas of confusion with the teacher. Ask directly for training resources on areas that have been identified for improvement, such as ideas for supplementing computer learning with fun worksheets that focus on core learning concepts that might slip during times where children lose focus. This is some of the most valuable time you have to improve the remote learning experience, so make the most of it.
Meal Prep or Plan
Let’s face it, many families relied upon the school to feed their children during school hours. But now you are the school. It’s easy to walk out one day and see nothing but processed food wrappers scattered about your kitchen because your children didn’t know what else to eat. Take whatever time you’re able to during the weekend, or even mid-week, to stock the house with healthy, easy-to-grab food and snacks so no one has to spend the little free time they do have worrying about what to make. Don’t feel bad about using a grocery delivery service to cut down on trips to the store (this also helps reduce exposure to groups of people!). Grocery stores are even jumping in to provide smart tips for parents who are supporting their children at home.
Take time for yourself
It sounds obvious, but very few parents actually make time for this, especially divorced parents with newfound responsibilities. Self-care can mean many different things depending on the type of person you are. Perhaps it’s having a phone call with your best friend or a glass of wine with your partner to recap the day. Not everyone derives energy from socializing, and it’s important to do what works for you. Maybe you need alone time with a book (even 15 minutes!) or a walk around the block. Use of a meditation app (the Headspace or Calm apps are great), or even bi-weekly meetings with a therapist help many people. Whatever it is, block it on your calendar and do it. You need to be your best self to manage all the inevitable chaos involved in rearing a child and being a partner to your friends and family. Please take care of yourself and check in with your emotional and physical well-being.
SupportPay can help
Remote learning is hard on everyone, and for divorced families especially.
SupportPay is an app designed to work seamlessly into parents’ lives to share expenses and reduce conflict by keeping communication transparent. For more resources and information on how SupportPay can help your family, visit our resources page.