In order to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the Prime Minister-led Interagency Coordination Council has decided to suspend the education process until April 21.
Most schools have already switched to distance learning. The public and private sectors have also switched to remote working mode. As a result, the daily lives of parents and children have changed.
To address the new challenges, the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia and the Center for Psychosocial Services of the LEPL Resource Officers offer parents recommendations to help them cope with the ongoing situation:
Please stay calm
Under any circumstances, please do not express anxiety and hopelessness in the presence of your children. Children, in such unusual circumstances, react primarily to parental behavior. Therefore, first and foremost, it is important for adults control their emotional state.
Plan your week
Provide specific activities for children, including start and end times, including break times. The table should include both educational and entertaining activities. It should preferably be presented in a visual, easy-to-understand format (e.g. in a prominent place, in a spreadsheet format). By doing so, you can help your children focus on goals and time effectively. By setting up a daily routine, you will maintain a certain rhythm of life and reduce your child's stress levels. Keep in mind that it is important to maintain the sleep regime your child has had so far - that he or she should be able to sleep and wake up as usual during the same hours as at school. The written schedule should be kept by both the child and other family members.
Listen to your children
It is important to know how your child perceives the ongoing situation, what he / she is thinking, what is on their mind. Remember that they can be tossed up in confusion as well. Explain that at such times, it is necessary to ask questions. They may ask you questions that you have no answer to. Don't ignore it. Tell them this is an interesting question, think about it and as soon as you find the answer, respond immediately. Please avoid providing false information. Try to explain the virus-related facts in a language that is comprehensible to them, take into consideration their age and psychological state. Emphasize the need for hygiene and do it in a fun way, without being scared or tense.
Tell them you're by their side
An unusual situation can cause severe anxiety in a child. Children and adolescents respond differently to stress: some may feel anxious immediately, others may after a while. Additionally, some children express tension, while others may lock themselves in and feel "silent". In any case, you need to be careful not to miss the changed behavior pattern and emotions. Remember that such symptoms, in the present situation, are perfectly normal. Explain to them, their feelings are completely in line with the situation you are in and that you understand them.
Children need attention
No matter how busy you are, it is recommended to spend some time with your children. Engage in some fun activities - have family parties, discos, karaoke, board games, paint, dance together, browse old family albums, start morning workouts, and most importantly remember to laugh along the way.
Reduce their interaction with gadgets
Due to distance learning, children are obliged to spend most of their time in front of computer screens. Please control their use of gadgets and help promote literacy:
- Together, select a book of interest to them.
- Read it out loud or listen to the audio version.
- Discuss the content.
- Describe main characters, talk about their behaviors and emotions.
- Write a brief summary of the reading individually and share it with each other.
Involve the entire family
Ask other family members for help. If you find it difficult to cope with the situation, which in turn can have a negative impact on the child, please contact a specialist through the Psychosocial Services Hotline.
24-hour hotline at the Psychosocial Services Center: 08 00 00 00 88
Parents of children aged between 6 and 13 and beneficiaries above 13 years of age are provided with online consultation by Skype if necessary.