Parenting is tough work. Whether you’re a single parent or co-parenting, it is a job that has a unique set of challenges. And COVID-19 made it even harder.
It’s not just about finding work after getting laid off or furloughed. It’s also not just about adapting to work-from-home arrangements when all your life you’ve been working in an office. It goes beyond looking for suppliers that offer solar shades for indoor spaces or collectibles to help your work become easier without leaving home.
With millions of classrooms closed worldwide, billions of children have been forced to go virtual with their schooling. When parents got word of this, the first thing to enter their minds was, “Can we actually make this work with everything we have on our plate?”
And now, after a few months of remote learning, parents are faced with an entirely new set of challenges.
The Top Challenges Parents Have with Remote Schooling
Before we go into parents’ challenges, we need to understand that the children also have different challenges of their own which are, more or less, the main things that parents are concerned about. Each grade level has different challenges and nuances. From understanding lessons to having technical difficulties with their devices, parents need to deal with all of these. It is on these that a parent’s challenges with online schooling are based.
Challenge #1: Keeping their children focused on schoolwork instead of other online activities.
Ask any parent whose child attends online learning and they will unanimously tell you that their main concern with their child is the level of attentiveness during class. Since most parents are also remotely working at this time, it is hard for them to keep an eye on their kids’ online activities. Some kids pretend to be listening to the teacher but have other apps and windows open such as YouTube and gaming sites.
Challenge #2: Having their kids establish a fixed daily routine.
Another common struggle parents are faced with today is getting their kids to follow a fixed daily schedule. Now that they no longer need to wake up early and fix up before leaving for school, a lot of kids just roll off their beds in the morning a few minutes before their class starts and immediately sit in front of their computers to start their day. Some don’t even take a bath and fix up nor eat a proper breakfast before going to school. It’s not just the lack of morning routine but it goes on for the rest of the day, too.
Challenge #3: Getting a wake-up and bedtime schedule established.
Since we’re already on the topic of routine, kids nowadays don’t feel the need to turn in early at night because of the reason stated in the previous point: they no longer need to wake up early. So getting them to bed at the right time and getting them to wake up early are proving to be more challenging now, especially for parents who have mid-shift or graveyard shifts with their remote work.
Challenge #4: Balancing time between teaching and household responsibilities.
At this point, school administrators and teachers are asking parents to be more involved with their children’s education by being more hands-on at home and helping their kids out. With the limitations that online learning has, teachers can only do so much, so they need the parents’ help. But parents are finding it hard to simultaneously manage a household and attend to their kids’ lessons regularly.
Challenge #5: Balancing teaching and remote work.
Understandably, parents who are under work-from-home arrangements find it more challenging because, on top of their household responsibilities, they also need to get their work done. Then you need to add helping their children out with their lessons on top of everything they have on their plates and you have one really exhausted and frustrated parent.
Under normal circumstances, parents are more than happy to help their kids out with their lessons after work but now that everyone’s cooped up at home and multitasking, helping children understand their lessons makes parents feel as if they’re also going to school. So they automatically become parent, worker, household manager, and student all at the same time.
If you are one of those parents who are going through the same struggles and often find yourself not knowing what to do, don’t second-guess yourself as a parent. Understand that you’re not alone in this and that other parents are going through the exact same thing. You just need to connect with others and ask for help or advice. You may also reach out to educators so you know how to help your children be at their best even under these unique circumstances.