Tips for Navigating Online Learning During Stressful Times

If you or your child are under more pressure and stress right now, you are not alone.  Many students, teachers and parents are being confronted with new challenges this school year due to online learning and the obstacles that come with virtual learning.  Here are a few tips to try and help you and your child manage these challenges in an ever-changing virtual world.

One of the first things that I highly recommend, is that you set up a schedule and routine for your child.  This includes having a consistent wake up time, time for breaks throughout the day, a scheduled time for lunch, dinner, home work and bedtime.  The more information your child has in advance of their schedule, the easier it will become for them to transition from one task to another.  It is also a good idea to have a calendar displayed where your child can see it that lists all the activities for the day and the corresponding times.  This will help your child make sense of their day and break up their day into smaller pieces that do not feel so overwhelming.

Another useful tip is to remember to encourage your child to eat 3 healthy well-balanced meals per day that include fruits and vegetables, in addition to 2 snacks and plenty of water.  Fueling the body with healthy foods and enough water should help them be able to focus on their schoolwork and stay engaged with their learning throughout the day. 

Throughout all of this, it is essential to remember to be patient and flexible.  To expect that your child is going to seamlessly transition from in person learning to online learning is simply not feasible.  This is a huge transition and a new way of learning.  It is essential that you understand that high expectations can lead to feelings of discouragement and disappointment for both the parent and child.  Lower your expectations, become more flexible and remember that over time, things will improve.  Give yourself and your child extra patience during these difficult times. 

In summary, three things you can do to try and help yourself and your child with the difficult transition to online learning is to make a daily schedule for your children that includes all of the activities for the day.  Ensure that both you and your child are eating 3 well balanced meals, with 2 snacks and plenty of water per day.  Lastly, be patient and flexible.  Everyone has had to make many adjustments over the past six months and many of these changes have come with increased stress.  Take time to breathe, take breaks throughout the day and remember that this too shall pass. 

By: Amber Sanner, MS, LMFT