Keeping your cool with kids (under 10)
How do you keep from losing your sh.. marbles.
So you are now a homeschool teacher
With the lockdowns resulting from coronavirus, you are now a homeschool teacher whether you like it or not. Many questions may run through your head: - What am I going to teach them? - How do I keep them busy? - How am I going to work while taking care of them?
And that’s just the easy part.
On top of all this, you’ll also have to be dealing with the annoying things that your kids do and handle meltdowns and such.
- Your kid is hooked onto the tablet, you do a countdown, each number you say you get angrier, finally you just grab the tablet by force and your kid is crying.
- Your kid is jumping on the couch and he’s hurt himself before. You give him some warnings, then you start yelling.
- [Insert your situation here]
I’ve already lost it with the kids and I know you have too. Perhaps you are looking for some strategies or quick fixes to avoid these situations. Instead of offering just advice (because reading that you should ‘calm down and breathe’ doesn’t help), let me offer some insights which may prevent these situations from happening.
Insights & Suggestions
In the heat of the moment, it is very difficult to control your explosive actions, especially if you’ve been suppressing them.
- Be aware of when you are suppressing anger or rage before you explode.
- Direct your built up anger towards a project where you can express yourself. Maybe it’s writing, exercising, or making something.
When you have too much on your mind, any question raised by your child (or any undesired action) can get very annoying.
- Dedicate time to focus on your kids (and redefine ‘work’). Put away your electronics.
- Get the one thing you want accomplished completed first thing, if it will take too long, make a list. The less you have on your mind, the more clarity you will have.
- Take time in the morning to step back and reflect on what you want to accomplish with your kids that day (make a list of activities - I have resources at the end of this article).
- After you get that small task done, check your calendar for the day, but avoid the news/social media/email.
When they have the tablet/watch tv, it’s impossible to get them to stop.
- Offer the tablet only after you have negotiated on a time. Try to avoid tablets/TV in the morning. If you really have to force shutdown, you can always turn off your router. Kindle Fire tablets offer a way to pause the kid’s account for X hours.
Kids will push your buttons - most of the time, it is amusing to them that you are angry. The more you tell them to stop jumping around, the more fun it is for them to do so.
- Don’t fall into their trap and play their game. Think first before you react.
Kids subconsciously learn from your actions.
- The way you react is how they will react. If you want them to express their feelings with words, you have to express yours. This is very difficult to do in the heat of the moment. Practicing activities early in the day to increase your awareness will help (meditation, prayer, silent reflection, writing).
- If you do explode, talk about it afterwards when you are calmed down.
Think of this as an opportunity to actively participate in your children’s education. I have included a spreadsheet below that includes all the activity ideas my kids enjoy.
I wish you success in your journey as a homeschool teacher!
Book I’m reading: How to stop losing your sh*t with kids. (Affiliate link)
Activities I’m doing with my kids in a Spreadsheet, categorized by activity type and subject.