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Routines key to managing stress while kids learn from home

Posted at 4:25 PM, Aug 24, 2020

Most children starting school this fall find themselves in the same place they ended in the spring – at home. These kids and their parents are having to make the effort to find a routine that works.

Mother Kim Alvidrez says she has her twin 6-year-olds treat school from home the same way they would if they were heading to class. That includes having breakfast and breaks at the same time.

She sees frustration in her kids for not having one-on-one teacher help and not being around other students.

“It’s hard, as a mom to watch your kids. They want it. They want to be there, and they want to be involved but they can’t fully participate,” said Alvidrez. “It’s just their presence that’s counted. And that’s their time. That’s my biggest concern. “

Alvidrez says her kids are kept silent during Zoom lessons and are encouraged to not ask questions. If questions are asked, she says it’s limited to one or two.

Child psychologists say parents need to work through those struggles and remain positive to help create a better learning environment.

“The number one way kids learn is by watching what their parents do,” said Dr. Jessica Hawks, a child psychologist at Children's Hospital Colorado. “So, if a parent can present an optimistic and positive about the fact that their child's in online schooling, the child's more likely to embrace that philosophy and mentality and can really be helpful overall to the engagement.”

Hawks says parents also need positive routines for kids, which include proper eating and sleep habits, along with a designated area for kids to do their online work.

As for Alvidrez, she says one positive is her twins are in the same class.