It is a difficult time to be a student! Aside from the pressures of trying to master time management and preparing for assignments, tests, and exams, the students of today also have to cope with the many pressures and demands of social isolation learning. So, how can you, as a parent, help your young student to successfully navigated these unchartered waters with their sanity intact? Here are some tips.
Chat to them about their emotions
Many teens are rather closed up when it comes to expressing how they are feeling. This may make it seem as though they are dealing with the impact of the pandemic on their studies relatively well. However, just because they seem calm and collected on the outside does not mean that that is how things are looking on the inside!
Make an effort to chat with them about their emotions and to remind them that it is perfectly normal to be feeling sad, angry, anxious, frustrated – or all of these feelings at once! It is also important to encourage them to come to you in the event that these emotions intensify.
Keeping a handle on mental health is crucial for students (everybody, for that matter!) during these trying times and, sometimes, a bit of outside help is needed to get properly back on track.
Help them to stick to a social isolation learning routine
Typically, there is a lot of downtime when studying at a varsity campus. However, there is still a sense of structure to the day.
Maintaining a predictable routine can make the world of difference to nurturing a positive mindset when it comes to social isolation learning.
Encourage your teen to get up, eat breakfast, get in a bit of exercise, and get dressed at the same time every morning before online classes begin.
Encourage them to eat a healthy, nutritious lunch and to get stuck into revision and/or working on assignments at the same time every day.
A relatively stable ‘bed-time’ is also advisable.
Ensure that they get enough sleep
Speaking of bed-time, your teen should be striving for between 7 – 9 hours of quality shut-eye every night. It is wise to avoid screen time during the hour or so leading up to ‘bed-time’ and to steer clear of caffeine after lunchtime.
Embolden your teen to make connections
While in-person socialising isn’t recommended right now to curb the spread of COVID-19, there is nothing stopping teens from reaching out to other, like-minded students online. They can engage in video calls and virtual ‘study sessions’ to reduce feelings of loneliness and text each other when they are feeling down or uninspired.
Connecting with other students who are studying the same courses is a bonus, as this will make it possible for them to support one another both emotionally and in terms of making sense of the coursework.
Insist that your teen enjoys some productive ‘me-time’
Taking a break from the realities of social isolation learning is a must. Your young student should be doing something that they enjoy and that helps to calm them every single day. It helps if this ‘me-time’ is a bit more productive than simply watching television or playing video games. Think yoga and meditation, painting, volunteer work, gardening etc.
The unconditional understanding and support of a parent can make the burden of social isolation learning a lot more bearable. Be there for them in any and every way that you possibly can. One day, they will thank you for it.