3308451
Senior Guardian Media Limited Journalist Radhica De Silva.

School is on and, yes, it’s stressful! But think about this. Wouldn’t we be even more stressed if our children fall ill? If they stopped communicating? Or if we got so sick with stress that we can’t hug them anymore? So hang in there and make the most of this situation.

Here are some helpful tips that work for me as I juggle a full-time job, online school and domestic chores with the help of my sister Linda and my husband, Kristian.

1. Don’t stress the kids. If they don’t feel like working, try not to yell. Instead, find a way to motivate. In my case, a “charge-up” of hugs work wonders to rejuvenate them. We also give incentives at the end of the day and the end of the week. They get rewarded for their patience so they’re happy to work again the next day. Remember not to compare them because each child has different abilities and will learn in different ways.

2. Create a comfortable “school” environment for them. Just stick a couple of charts, stickers or drawings. Do whatever you can to make them a school space that they love. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Let them choose stickers for their books. And reward them with stickers too.

3. Wake them up with love. My kids have to wake up at 6 am because class for the youngest starts at 7 am. I spend ten minutes singing special songs for them so they will wake up in a good mood.

4. Give them chores that they love. Picking up the toys, wiping tables and counters and even vacuuming goes a long way in keeping the house tidy.

5. Do early school preparations for the day. Print and stick your child’s schoolwork beforehand. Outline what has to be done. Use pretty coloured paper with instructions, so they can follow along and learn to work independently. I let them write the dates on their various subjects on the timetable before school starts. One less thing for them to do during the day.

6. Give them a time out to play so they can do what they love to do–enjoy cartoons, play on YouTube, swimming, football, whatever they like so they can de-stress at the end of the day. They are people too.

7. Pray with them and listen to them while they are praying. Really listen. You will be amazed to hear what’s in their tiny hearts. Give them a chance to express themselves.

8. Finally, no matter how hard it is for you, remember the kids are your responsibility. Whatever you sow now you will reap later. If you want them to be kind, then you should also be kind. They are a reflection of you. They did not ask to be here, so buckle down and get yourself together and do your best for them.

Remember this! School days were never so hard when we were growing up. So ease up the kids when they struggle with online school. They will always do well if you raise them with love, patience and virtues.