Author: Beth Trammell

Virtual learners are lonely, not “jerk”ish

Virtual learners are lonely, not “jerk”ish

I was walking with some great friends this morning and was reminded again that so much of what I share with YOU is also continually relevant for ME and my kids. Funny how that happens… During the typical “how are your kids doing with the 

Day 7. Goal setting starts early.

Day 7. Goal setting starts early.

Today is our final day of intentional conversations within this journey (hopefully not your final intentional conversation with your child! :). This series of questions for today helps model goal-setting and intention-setting – something that will be beneficial to them for their entire lives. You 

Don’t forget… the First Week Fatigue is coming…

Don’t forget… the First Week Fatigue is coming…

At some point during the first week of school, you or your child are likely to melt down. Many times perhaps. And that’s okay. That is to be expected.

None of us have been used to this level of engagement or energy for months. And we have to remember that for our kids, being at school is hard work. Staying focused for that long is hard work. Being a good friend and understanding social cues is hard work. Add a mask to all of this and it becomes even harder.  For our virtual learners – looking at screens for that long is hard work. Not having the social relief between passing periods with friends is hard work. Being around parents all day is hard work. (#sorrynotsorry). 

And our kids are doing it! Hooray!

But not without a cost to their level of fatigue.

So what would this First Week Fatigue look like?

For one child, First Week Fatigue may look like a disrespectful attitude. Stomping off for something seemingly unimportant.
For another child, it might be crying more often. Becoming tearful when she mistakenly forgot to sign her syllabus on the first day.
Maybe for another child it looks like being angry. Throwing things in the living room when they are asked to come to the table for dinner.
However their fatigue looks in your house, no matter how they share with you their level of fatigue with you, know that is our job to respond to their fatigue, not their behavior.

Don’t start this week by giving out lots of consequences.

The first week is hard. Being in quarantine for months has made this harder. Instead of giving out lots of consequences, prepare ahead of time.
Know they will need more rest and more breaks. Know they may not want to be doing all the chores on their list this week. They may want to lay around more in the evening – watch more YouTube.
This doesn’t mean there are no expectations for them to contribute during the first week, but it does mean we can be proactive in helping them more, having more compassion, giving extra grace.

Plan ahead to have more of yourself available to them this week.

This may mean you intentionally put your electronics in time-out from 3pm-8pm. Or maybe you order take-out for dinner so you aren’t distracted by having to cook a meal. (Keep in mind that a sit-down restaurant may not be a ‘break’ for them. Especially little kids can find a sit-down restaurant to be more restricting – sorta like school actually – where they have to behave a certain way that may be hard for them to do after being in school all day.)
Other ideas may be intentional physical snuggles with them if that is something your child needs or enjoys. Perhaps it is running around in the backyard with them.
Whatever your kid needs to relax, unwind, or release stress is where you can focus your energy to help them get through this first week of school – minimizing the negative impact of the First Week Fatigue on your family!

One final reminder.

We are not exempt from the First Week Fatigue either! Be kind to yourself and your parenting this week. Perhaps find time for self-care, reflection, engagement with a friend or just time to yourself this week. We have all had a long spring and summer. Realize your fatigue and your edginess and take 10-15 minutes to re-center so that the fatigue doesn’t tailspin into a hard night for everyone.
Feel free to share how you have survived the First Week Fatigue in the comments  below!
Day 6 – When we can encourage EXTRA kindness.

Day 6 – When we can encourage EXTRA kindness.

“Light fosters life. You have light to share, which means you have life to share. Don’t hide it. We all want to make a mark on the world, but oftentimes we talk ourselves out of it because we’re too busy or we assume we’re not 

Day 5 – When academics look different.

Day 5 – When academics look different.

This year is going to be totally different. In so many ways. Likely to include the academic part of school. It may be easier. Or harder. It may be stricter, or looser. We just simply don’t know exactly how all of this will work until 

Day 4 – Extending lots of grace to teachers

Day 4 – Extending lots of grace to teachers

Our teachers have been such troopers all summer and as we are entering the new year, they need our support (and the support of our kids!) more than ever. Today’s conversation is about explicitly teaching our kids how to choose empathy, compassion, and grace.

Before you have this conversation, I would encourage you to think about ways to specifically relate it to your child and his/her experiences. This will really help drive the message home for your child.

Below is the video for today’s conversation.

Stay well, friends.
Until tomorrow,

Beth

Click HERE for the Day 4 video.

Day 3 – Mask (and school-choice) shaming.

Day 3 – Mask (and school-choice) shaming.

We are on Day 3 of continuing conversations with our kids about shaming. Shame is such a hard word. An even harder emotion. Yet, we all have experienced it and know how horrible it is. The trickiest part about shame messages is that we often 

Day 2 – Being a good friend without being too close

Day 2 – Being a good friend without being too close

So for Day 2, I want to talk about being a good friend without getting physically close to one another. Despite any of our own opinions about social distancing, it is clear that being 3 to 6 feet away from one another is a better 

Day 1 of the 7-day intentional preparation for school to “start”

Day 1 of the 7-day intentional preparation for school to “start”

In this time of uncertainty and unpredictability, it is natural for us to feel anxious about the upcoming school year. When I am feeling anxious about something, I try to be even more intentional about conversations with my kids – knowing that if I am feeling anxious, they are probably also feeling something like that, too.

So here is the video for Day 1 of our 7-day intentional journey together. The focus of this video is on TIMING of these conversations, as well as mask-wearing. If you feel comfortable – give me a shout out about how the conversation went!

Stay well, friends.

Click HERE for the Day 1 video.

 

 

Somewhere there is a child…

Somewhere there is a child…

My dear Make Words Matter family. This post is not like my usual, uplifting messages (at least at first glance). In fact, this post may be more than you want to imagine is true in our communities right now. That’s okay. Please do not feel