Who in the world would have thought our lives would transition so quickly, becoming almost completely virtual in a matter of months?

Virtual is a word that has been applied to many things lately: Virtual classrooms and virtual meetings. Virtual doctor appointments and virtual shopping sprees.

Yet, what really stuck out to me is that everything virtual is done from home. Kids are attending school with their Chromebooks, while parents are working on their laptop, often sharing the same space.

Although it’s challenging to keep little kids engaged with online learning while maintaining your work ethic and productivity, it’s also important to accept our current reality and make necessary adjustments by setting realistic goals for ourselves and our families.

That means acknowledging the global pandemic and doing our best to follow safety guidelines. It also means doing our best to reduce stress and anxiety as we juggle work and parenting.

Using a planner and creating a flexible master schedule have proven effective for working adults and school-aged children. Writing a daily to-do list and following routines are very helpful. It’s important to include a variety of activities and regular mealtimes. Parents can prepare these meals before they start working or during their lunch breaks.

Another recommendation is to give children choices. For instance, between their classes, they can choose to take short breaks to work on homework assignments or engage in play time.

At the end the day, it’s important for parents and kids to engage in self-care to improve their physical and emotional well-being. This could involve physical activities, creative play, exercise and chores.

Finally, it’s important for working parents who oversee their children’s schooling to seek support. An employee assistance program is a good way to start. If you have an FEI EAP, please reach out to your EAP Services Center for mental health counseling and referrals.