Managing the Stress of Online Learning for Parents in Recovery
Whether your kids are in elementary school, going into their senior year of high school, or starting college, the current school year is likely a struggle. Millions of children are now homeschooling at least halftime, and many parents can’t afford to hire private tutors. That means parents are shouldering the responsibility of educating their children or at least making sure they keep up with online learning programs while working and processing the stress of a worldwide pandemic.
Parents across the United States are feeling overstretched and overstressed at a time that also limits social interaction. For parents in recovery, that could lead to dangerous thought patterns and cravings that threaten their sobriety.
If you or someone you love is balancing the stress of educating your kids with addiction recovery, we have some tips to make it a bit easier.
5 Online Learning Tips for Parents in Recovery
- Put health and wellness first. Your child’s education is important, but you become a less effective teacher and guide when you aren’t taking care of your own physical and emotional health. Prioritize sleep, healthy food, exercise, and maybe meditation or prayer.
- Organize your online learning environment. You may not have a home office to dedicate to at-home work, let alone schooling, so designate one area of the home to serve as your classroom. Place a computer with a comfortable chair in that area and organize any school supplies and paperwork so that everything is easy to find. A neat, orderly environment will promote a clear mind, while clutter and disorganization will promote scattered thinking.
- Connect with your child’s teachers and guidance counselor. Your child may not see teachers in person, but school-operated online programs do include real teachers who are likely to provide tips and support for parents when asked for help.
- Create a support network. Social media groups are filled with parents maneuvering online education and the other stressors in our modern world. Taking even a half-hour every couple of days to connect with other parents can relieve enough stress to keep your mind on the right path.
- Cling to your recovery skills and techniques. Parents in recovery have special resources that they can use to get through difficult times. Think back to what helped you get through your early days of sobriety and start practicing those techniques again.
How to Reduce Online Learning Stress for Children
Online learning becomes an even greater stressor for parents when the children involved don’t learn well from home. Some children need the structure of a school day and the support of multiple teachers and friends to excel academically.
When the routine school day is replaced by weeks and months spent indoors with only close family members, those children struggle to keep up with their peers. They may also struggle with emotional issues that come from isolation from friends, reduced sunlight and physical activity, and worry about current events.
If you have a child struggling, there are some things you can do, including:
- Create a schedule for your household and stick to it. You can mimic the structure provided by the school, but every member of the family must get on board.
- Get outdoors as often as possible. Go for daily walks. Grab the leash and take the dog to the park. The sunshine and exercise will relieve stress for parents in recovery while giving children room to release energy.
- Look for learning co-ops and homeschool groups in your area. Many new groups are forming now that millions of parents are forced to homeschool with little time and training.
Lakeview Health Offers Support in Jacksonville
Many parents in recovery need extra support during these challenging times. Lakeview Health in Jacksonville, Florida, has an Alumni network that includes a buddy program and other resources. Many other detox and rehabilitation programs offer similar resources that program graduates may find invaluable right now.
If you know someone who has relapsed or is ready to receive help for the first time, Lakeview Health offers the following programs:
- Aftercare program
- Inpatient treatment programs
- Intensive outpatient program
- Medical detox
- Residential treatment program
- Partial hospitalization program