Getting young children to focus on their lessons during online classes is a huge challenge for all parents (and teachers too). Young children thrive better with face to face interaction but with the current situation, we have all had to adapt to this new norm. As parents, it’s important that we reframe our minds to look at this situation through new lenses. Oftentimes, it is not that the child is purposefully misbehaving, but there could be other reasons they are unable to focus during class.
Let’s look at the situation objectively and evaluate:
- What is within my control? (For example, we can’t change the teacher’s teaching style, however, we can set a nice environment that is conducive for learning)
- What has been my response to my child so far? Has it been effective? (For example, if screaming is ineffective at getting the results you desire, then it’s time to think of another alternative)
- How can I make the experience more pleasant for my child? How can I involve my child in brainstorming ideas? (I went through this exercise with my son and we created a poster together to remind him of ways he can focus in class. We also pack little treats that he can eat in between Zoom classes)
- What limits do I need to set and how can I enforce consequences when it is not followed? (For example, watching YouTube videos during classes is not allowed, and if the child continues to do it, what is the consequence and how can I be consistent in following through with it)
Remember to extend a bit more grace towards our children – we all have good and bad days. I am sure you have been in online meetings where your mind has drifted away. Or you might know of someone who has spent their schooling years sleeping on their desk, yet turned out to be an extremely successful person in life.
While we want to set up our children for success, every child has different learning styles and if we observe them closely, we can find out what motivates them. You’ve got this!