Beyond all the inconveniences associated with the pandemic, it is important to stop for a moment and take a look at the road traveled since March 2020, to consider the rest with optimism. There are gains that will benefit from being maintained once the sanitary measures are lifted.
1- Exit perfection!
Juggling between work (at home or not), domestic chores, distance education and the ambiguous context has created undeniable pressure on many parents. It was also an opportunity to remember that flexibility is essential to successfully reconcile our different roles, that it is not necessary to strive for perfection at all costs. Relativizing and letting go have been the watchwords of many. Likewise, we had to (re) learn to live and accept the emotions felt, whether positive or negative.
2- Quality family time
Freed from many trips and activities, several parents took the opportunity to spend more time with their family. Cooking, playing, moving, the possibilities were numerous despite everything. These moments have become a new way to meet and discuss. They made it possible to highlight the importance of sharing moments together and of moving away from screens to facilitate conversations without interruption.
3- Co-education in the spotlight
Teachers and parents have a role to play in promoting the well-being and success of young people. The last few months have highlighted the complementary roles of each and the advantages of maintaining two-way communications between school and home. Parents should not hesitate to communicate with teachers in order to make them aware of specific situations experienced at home. Even when young people have returned to school full time, this co-education should remain since it helps improve interventions with students.
4- Digital dialogue with the family
Several parents have been more permissive about the use of screens by their children since the start of the pandemic. The figures confirm it: the number of parents supervising the time of use of their children or the nature of the sites they can visit decreased by 5% between 2019 and 2020 (from 88% to 83%).
An idea: rather than simply regulating the duration, it is possible to regulate the uses (learning time vs time to play or socialize). In addition, it may be relevant to define rules of life in a parent-child contract. The preparation of the contract then becomes a concrete moment which encourages parent-child communication and allows everyone to express themselves on the use of screens. Find a contract template to customize: bit.ly/contratRDV.
5- Develop digital skills
The pandemic has highlighted the importance of digital technology in society. It is possible to develop new skills to understand digital tools and use them wisely. Technological skills, but also other skills such as online information, developing critical thinking, collaborating, producing digital content, etc.
It is possible to maximize everyone's digital knowledge by helping each other, parents and children. The site digitalcompetence.ca presents a tool to develop their understanding of the digital universe.
In addition :
- Well-being, a lever for learning ... even at a distance, a École branchée magazine, available free of charge, in French and English. Download at ecolebranche.com/famille or ecolebranche.com/family.
- Distance learning: 8 tips for parents
- More screen time? Do not panic
- Distance learning: co-educating is when school and family communicate bidirectionally
 NETendances, (2021, February). The digital family, Academy of digital transformation, https://transformation-numerique.ulaval.ca/enquetes-et-mesures/netendances/netendances-2020-la-famille-numerique
This article first appeared in the June 2021 issue of the Parents Action Magazine of the Federation of Parents' Committees of Quebec.