One thing I have learned as a swim coach is that when I coach my own kids, they behave differently than when someone else coaches them.
It’s that whole level of familiarity thing.
This is why distance learning is so challenging for parents.
Kids respond much differently to their parents than they do to teachers.
This point is perfectly illustrated by Number 7.
She is the the kid in this family whose behavior takes a nose dive when I coach her, and at home trying to help her with her schoolwork, it’s not much different.
So I tried something today.
The kids are becoming more independent with their work.
Number 7 is now able to log in to the computer and get started on assignments that are straightforward and concrete pretty easily.
In fact, this morning she got started early.
As soon as she came downstairs from her room today, she went straight to the computer and logged in.
And then she burst into the kitchen where I was making breakfast and proclaimed, “MOMMY! I logged into splashlearn all by myself!”
She was super proud of herself.
On another note, I exercise every day.
This is nonnegotiable for me.
It’s my antidepressant and my stress relief and right now it’s pretty much my only alone time.
Aside from sleep, it’s the most important aspect of self-care for me.
And as the driver of the bus right now, self-care is imperative.
Our school work time block every day is from 9-11.
I had lunch to make around noon and I had a Facebook live coaching session scheduled for my membership group at 1 pm.
We also had plans to go to my parents’ house (staying outside and keeping 6 feet distance) this afternoon after my Facebook live.
I did not want still-to-be-done exercise hanging over my head all day, and since I’ve been getting up at 4 am to get a chunk of uninterrupted work done before the kids get up, as the day goes on, I get more and more worn out.
I knew if I didn’t get it done earlier this morning I wouldn’t do it.
So I went for a run at 9.
I told the kids to do all the school work they could do independently while I was gone.
A little after 10:00 I came home.
Nobody was crying and nobody was losing their shit.
Number 4 was in my office helping Number 7 with her reading assignment.
Normally when I am home, Number 7 will not accept help from anyone else.
And I haven’t had the energy to try and fight her on it.
But once I was removed from the equation, things were different.
Just like things are different when I coach Number 7 at swim practice and when I don’t.
Number 4’s help was 100% acceptable today.
In fact, the only person who needed my help today was the high schooler who is being tortured by Shakespeare. (Sorry all you Shakespeare fans).
My kids had a great “school” day today! The best one so far!
I think this is partly because they are becoming more skilled at navigating what needs to be done.
It’s also because Number 7’s math work today was much easier for her than what she had to do yesterday.
But a big part of it was because I wasn’t there.
There was no audience for drama, and the kids knew we were going to Grammy and Papa’s house later, and they wanted to get that shit done.
So this may be a new strategy for me.
I may shorten the hours I am available for help on some days and see what happens to the level of freakouts and the levels of production.
Maybe it was a fluke.
But maybe it wasn’t.
Either way, today was our best day so far.
I think the kids,
And Grammy and Papa would agree.