Hugs and encouragement to all foster and adoptive parents who are trying to do two full-time jobs this fall, work and school their children! Please be kind to yourself and reach out to your resources to continue to get the support that you need.
I have created a series of blog posts titled ‘Bringing Sanity Home.’ It is directed towards those who are schooling their foster and adoptive children at home and trying to work from home. The ideas and tips will be useful for any foster or adoptive parent.
In part 3 we will look at practical tips to help parents who are schooling their children and working at home. I’ve also included a real Mom Life quote in every blog!
Practical tips for Structure
During this difficult season, here are a few suggestions to help make sure you have the structure in your home that your child needs.
- Have a consistent time that everyone wakes up.
- Give your child an alarm so they can exert control over their environment.
- Wake up before your child to either have some alone time or to get a little work in before they wake up.
- Tell your employer the best times for you to schedule meetings. Assert your needs in this area.
- Make sure you have a few minutes to connect with God when you wake up and a few minutes throughout your day.
- Have a written schedule (and a visual schedule if your child needs this) posted for both the child and the working parent. Break the day into small chunks.
- Include chores in your schedule.
- Have a comfortable space without distractions so everyone can work.
- Consider if your child needs a space close to you for at least part of the day.
- Have filters in place so your child cannot access inappropriate things on technology.
- If you have meetings in a place with a door, put a note on the door to let your children know when you are in a meeting and how long the meeting will last.
Practical Tips for Nurture
Before school starts:
- Greet your child with kind words and a smile on your face.
- Eat breakfast together and give your child your full attention.
- Give your child one special food at breakfast or lunch.
- Give your child a morning hug, high five, or pat on the back.
- Offer empathy and a listening ear when your child expresses frustration over computer glitches, missing their friends, or having to attend school from home.
- Make sure your child knows when and how to get in touch with you if they need something.
Morning and Afternoon:
- Schedule a longer recess where your child can get physical activity. Give your child options and written instructions on what to do if you can’t be with them.
- Send a text or slip a note to your child at intervals throughout the day.
- Place your picture and a family picture on your child’s desk.
- Place a picture of a relaxing scene on your desk.
- Allow your child to wear your shirt or jacket for the day.
- Give your child access to drinks and snacks.
- Paste scripture messages on your or your child’s desk.
- Play peaceful music in the background.
- Give your child a fuzzy or weighted blanket to place in their lap.
- Allow your child to have access to scented lip balm, gum, or small candies.
- When your child is upset, give them your full attention and try to figure out what the need is.
- Validate your child’s feelings before problem-solving.
- Speak kindly to yourself when you get upset and tell yourself that this is hard and it’s only a season.
- Validate your own feelings before problem-solving.
- Schedule lunch together every day even if it is short.
- Play a game together over lunch or watch a funny video together.
- Allow your child to catch up and tell you what went well and what was frustrating for them.
- Share one of your joys or frustrations with your child.
- If possible, allow your child to play with a sibling or friend.
- Make sure they can go outdoors for some fresh air. If you can, go for a walk together.
- Help your child plan out their clothes and things they need for the next day.
Mom life: Another adoptive mom’s post on Facebook sums up the struggle: First day of first grade via NTI. I am trying to be optimistic, but after just a few hours of chaotic Google meetings, inevitable technical glitches, communication barriers, and the stress of juggling work and home school I’m already feeling like it’s going to be an incredibly trying school year for parents, teachers, and students.
Again, I would like to emphasize that the stress that you and your child are feeling is normal! Please set small realistic expectations for school and work. Talk to the teacher if things get to be too frustrating for you or your child.
Push into your relationship with the Lord, take time out for Him, and be kind to yourself. Surround yourself with humor and laugh – a lot! Remember this is only a season and know that you are making great memories to tell the next generation.
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the LORD, knowing that in the LORD your labor is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58
Here are links for you to this blog series.
For part 1 of this series click here: https://empoweredcalling.com/bringing-sanity-home-part-1/
For part 2 of this series click here: https://empoweredcalling.com/bringing-sanity-home-part-2/
For part 3 click here: https://empoweredcalling.com/bringing-sanity-home-part-3-2/
Renee is a life coach who specializes in working with foster and adoptive families. She is based in Louisville, Kentucky but works with clients all over the world through internet coaching. You can book a free 30-minute consultation with her here: https://square.site/book/60VP09PS4Z3JB/empowered-calling-llc or find out more information about her services at https://empoweredcalling.com/.