Guest Post Written By Christelle Pillot
Lockdown and homeschooling, how to deal with all that?
I use 8 tools that really help me with the current situation.
My name is Christelle and I’m a coach, I’m helping parents recapture freedom and leaders to see that the family can be the biggest asset at work and in life.
I have 3 children between the ages of 6 and 11 living in Germany.
Right now we have the schools locked down. I have the 3 children at home and it is complicated to work. My husband works, I work and we had to find solutions.
I use the same tools that I had used during the last lockdown because it helped a lot.
It works very well!
Last Sunday I sat down with my children and I explained to them that we had to work, that they have to do school from home, and that it is going to be challenging. We discussed the challenges we are going to face during the week, the noise, the computer logistic, all the stuff we have to do during the week, laundry, cooking, etc. and we needed to try and find the solutions. I talked to them about what kind of qualities we needed during the week in order to do better, to be better. The qualities that came out were kindness, patience, and teamwork. I do this with them so that they understand the situation and are able to try to fix the problems before they arise, while we are still all ok!
I asked them to do a lot and I want them to stay motivated. We are using the same points chart as the last lockdown.
On one side (red circles) are the things we need to accomplish in order to access the reward. In the morning I asked them to leave me alone for 3 hours. That is 3 hours without interruption so that I can really concentrate. I asked all of them to stay 3 hours without TV, away from me and deal with what they have to do. If they are able to achieve that they have the possibility to play video games or have access to screens in the afternoon. Usually during the week we have no screens so they are very happy for the reward.
Usually they achieve to do a big part of their homework during the morning.
The other side of the chart (blue circles) are the task they need to accomplish around the house. I asked them to do between 6 and 8 tasks during the day. It might be cleaning the table after a meal, doing the laundry, empty the dishwasher, etc. I’m sure you are going to be able to find some task they could do during the day. I have 3 children and they all do between 6 and 8 tasks during the day so you can imagine how much can be done in a day. All of those things done by the children are things I don’t have to do it by myself and that is great! For those tasks there are rewards such as staying up a little later, watching TV, etc.
I plan the meals, I try to have simple meals that the children can do by themselves. That, allows my children to tick things off on their list. It is good for me to plan everything because it’s less of a mental load. After working for 3 hours, I don’t want to think about what we have to eat. Sometimes the lunch hour is very short so that’s why everything is already there and I just have to check in to see if they have done it themselves or need a little assistants.
I explain to them exactly when they can come see me and when they need to leave me alone. For me when the door is closed, they know that they are not to come in. If they open it and I am doing a conference or coaching call, all I have to do is put my hand up and they know not to come in. This is our code, try to have your own codes.
I wake up early because I have seen that when I wake up around 5 and I already do 2-hours of work before they wake up, I’m much more relaxed during the day. I feel like I have time with them during breakfast. We look at what kind of activities they have to do, how they’re going to be able to stay 3 hours without annoying me and it’s very relaxed. Then I get my 3 hours of work without being disturbed and by the time we reach lunch I have already work 5 hours! This allows me to be much more relaxed in the afternoon, when they have their TV time and I can continue to work. If you are not an early riser I can understand, I didn’t used to be but it is something you can train. However you can do the same in the evening. So let’s say start your day in the evening at 6. Work 2 hours more during the evening. When you wake up and it is 8 o’clock but you know that you have already worked 2-hours, you will feel very good about that. Mentally you will feel great about the difference!
I do a break about every hour. I do a lap of the house to see if everything is fine, to tell them how great they are doing and I let them know my successes during the hour. Letting them know, it is because they were so quiet that I could get these things done. Directly showing them why it’s important for me and for them to do what we planned to do. I make sure to check in with the youngest one, make sure that he still has enough ideas to continue to work alone during 1 or 2 more hours.
Every opportunity I have, I try to explain to them how great they are doing and that when they are all together and coping that helps the whole family. Usually they do such a great job, we do a party Friday evening at home. We eat something special, we put some music on and we do whatever we want to do for a party. They love the idea and that gives them extra motivation. It’s a great atmosphere in our home.
I let a lot of things go and try not to push too much. If it’s not perfect it’s ok! I try to get them to understand which direction we want them to go, but I try not to push them or myself too hard. Usually we don’t have TV during the week — ok, we have TV this week, I really like when the food is good healthy food, so I let go a little bit about that as well. I work more than 8 hours a day usually, then I maybe work a little bit less if it’s possible and so on.
I just let go of perfectionism and what is not a necessity!
That’s more or less it but this helps me a lot and I have seen the children learn a lot from this as well.
They learn to be more responsible, they learn teamwork, they learn to be more autonomous and how to respect boundaries, mine, my husbands or their brothers. They learn to problem solve by themselves, because they cannot always come ask me or my husband to do so.
It’s a lot of things you can teach them through this process. Building a team and finding that everyone in the family has a great role to play to help the family function correctly.
If you are parent and you are struggling with your rhythm and looking for help to motivate your children then just reach out in private message and write: “Discovered Motivation” and we can have a chat together and see how I can help!