Schools' psychologist offers tips to parents in challenging times
The COVID-19 outbreak has produced challenging circumstances for everyone.
But perhaps one great challenge is that which parents face as they attempt to keep their students on track from an education perspective while also, in many cases, having to work from home.
According to Paula M. Lewis, Brevard County Public Schools’ assistant director of psychological services, one of the biggest things parents can do to help their students is to simply remain calm.
“I think first off they need to remain very calm and be reassuring when talking to their child or student,” Lewis said. “… You need to make sure that you're calm 'cause kids they look toward us, the adults, and they pretty much model what we model.”
Lewis also believes that parents should be very direct with their children.
“The tone should be very straight forward, needs to be very factual,” Lewis said.
Lewis also advocates for a team mindset, as she’d like to see parents let their children know that “we’re going to get through this together.”
From an educational standpoint, Lewis notes that it is important to maintain a routine much in the way their children’s schools do as learning has shifted from inside the classroom to online.
To that end, Lewis said that a good idea is to have consistency with respect to where learning takes place in the home.
“They need to pick an area in their home, something very similar to where a kid would have like a desk in a school building, create a space for that student and have them contribute to that space,” Lewis said.
Further, she notes that students eating balanced meals and getting a lot of sleep is key. Lewis also said that parents should monitor their children’s TV and social media time.
But she also advocates for breaks during the day to give children some enjoyment too, which includes time correspondence with peers.
“I do like the fact that I am seeing, in my neighborhood,” Lewis said. “… Kids are now more active, you see them taking breaks, you may see them outside on their bicycles.”
Lewis also noted that psychologists are assigned to each school to help any students that are going through a tough time.
She adds that parents in need of accessing resources that can help them in this time, can find them on brevardschools.org.