Blog Archives

Supporting Exhausted Parents during the Pandemic

We’ve covered similar topics over the past 10 months, but the seemingly unending crisis of #COVID19 has taken a toll on parents. Parents are struggling with isolation, uncertainty, and sadness on a daily basis. Exhaustion is a constant reminder that things have only gotten worse and any ‘end in sight’ scenario is an elusive goal. They are constantly confronting child care and school closures, juggling work schedules, coping with  family illness.

Parents of GT children face the same societal issues they’ve always faced: that raising a gifted and/or talented child is a breeze. They’ll do fine on their own. They’re smart; they’ll figure things out. The problem with that when in the midst of a global pandemic is that indeed they do figure things out; they know the stakes are high even at a very young age. With understanding can come a rash of mental health issues – anxiety, depression, increased contemplation of suicide, drug use.

What unique issues result from exhaustion for parents of twice-exceptional kids? Even in the best of times, parents of these kids are keenly aware of a need for adequate sleep to have extended patience and understanding with their child. Some parents have reported their child’s opposition of inability to comply with mask mandates and social distancing requests. Sensitivity issues are high on the list of  needs that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

How can schools help exhausted parents? Outreach to parents is essential. Informing parents well in advance to changes in school closures is particularly helpful. Extending mental health professional information and counseling via school counselors and support staff when necessary can be welcome relief for many parents. Parents should have a seat at the table when discussing safety concerns and mitigation efforts during in-school learning.

There is an endless supply of online advice for exhausted  parents … some of it excellent and some of it simply insulting. Traditional self-care actions may not be practical for many parents. This pandemic has called into question many traditional parenting strategies, but parents are learning to expect imperfection, expect to be interrupted, and don’t worry about complaining (you have a right to do so). Parenting in a pandemic has taught parents to appreciate their children, realize that schedules are not the end-all, and that spending time together can be a godsend. Building relationships has never been more important.

What positive aspects to parenting in a pandemic have you experienced that might inspire others? Many, many parents of gifted children have reported that their kids are thriving both academically and personally without worries about bullying and boredom in school. Families are seeing positive changes in children who are learning important life skills while at home, enjoying family time, and learning lessons taught by parents they wouldn’t have learned at school.

A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2PM NZDT/Noon AEDT/Midnight UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

The Parental Burnout Crisis has Reached a Tipping Point

The Burnout is Real: Coping with Pandemic Parenting and Redefining Self-care

5 Bright Spots from Our Crappy Year of Pandemic Parenting

Your Year in Pandemic Parenting (Audio 52:00) | KQED

Some Autistic People can’t Tolerate Face Masks Here’s How We’re Managing with our Son (may require subscription) | Washington Post

How to Reclaim a Positive Mental Attitude while Parenting in a Pandemic

Support for Kids with ADHD during the Pandemic  

Pandemic Parenting

Parenting in a Pandemic

The Brave New World of Parenting in the Pandemic | Psychology Today

Parenting in a time of #COVID-19 | The Lancet

Parenting During the Pandemic

Parenting During a Pandemic: How Parents Can Cope With Added Strains Due to the Covid Crisis (Audio 49:51)

Certain Parenting Behaviors Associated with Positive Changes in Well-being during COVID-19 Pandemic

Marina Gomberg says Parenting Fatigue is Real, so much so that She can’t even Finish this Headl …

7 Beliefs about Parenting That No Longer Serve Parents after the Pandemic

TX: New Parenting Website Aimed at Helping during Pandemic and Beyond

A Guide to Riding out the Rest of the Pandemic: Parenting in a Pinch

Study Examines Day-to-day Parenting Behavior during COVID-19 Restrictions

Parenting in a Pandemic takes Patience, Creativity

Helping Parents and Caregivers Cope with the Mental Health Challenges of Parenting during a Pandemic

Stress and Parenting during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Psychosocial Impact on Children | NIH

A Trauma Psychologist on the Stress of ‘Relentless Parenting’ During COVID-19 (Video 8:09)

The Psychological Impact of Quarantine and How to Reduce it: Rapid Review of the Evidence

Overwhelmed? You Are Not Alone | Psychology Today

Cybraryman’s Parents and Teachers Page

Photo courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

2020 Retrospective: The Lost Year

This week’s #gtchat was a look back at 2020! A transcript can be found at Wakelet. Resources from the chat can be found below. This was the final chat of the year. We wish you all a very happy holiday season from all of us at Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT!

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2PM NZDT/Noon AEDT/Midnight UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

The Impact of #COVID-19 on Education: Insights from Education at a Glance 2020 (pdf)

#COVID-19 and Student Performance, Equity, and U.S. Education Policy | Economic Policy Institute

Policy Brief: Education during COVID-19 and Beyond (pdf) | United Nations

A Roundup of COVID-19’s Impact on Higher Education

3 #COVID-19 Education Trends Set to Persist Post-Pandemic

#COVID-19 and Human Development: Assessing the Crisis, Envisioning the Recovery | United Nations Development Programme

The #COVID-19 Pandemic: Shocks to Education and Policy Responses | The World Bank

Putting the ‘Learning’ Back in Remote Learning: Policies to Uphold Effective Continuity of Learning through #COVID-19 (pdf) | UNICEF

Education in a Post-COVID World: Nine Ideas for Public Action (pdf) | United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization

Time to Fix American Education with Race-for-Space Resolve | The Harvard Gazette

The Impact of #COVID-19 on Student Achievement and What It May Mean for Educators

How will #COVID-19 Change Our Schools in the Long Run?

The 10 Most Significant Education Studies of 2020

 
What Educators Are Learning during the Pandemic

3 Keys to a Better 2020–21

The Top 6 Trends in Education for 2020 

Education in 2020 – The end of the classroom? | Education World 

Schooling disrupted, Schooling Rethought How the Covid-19 Pandemic is Changing Education (pdf) | OECD 

Education: From Disruption to Recovery | UNESCO 

COVID-19’s Long-Term Impacts on Education in 2020 and Beyond

Will 2020 be remembered as the year in which education was changed? 

‘Panic-gogy’: Teaching Online Classes during the Coronavirus Pandemic | NPR 

20 Teachers Share How Education Will Change in 2021

Here’s Why 2021 Could Be another Big Year for Smart Education and Learning Market with Top Industry Leaders

Cybraryman’s 4 Cs+ Page

Images courtesy of Pixabay & Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphics courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Coping with Isolation and Social Distancing

What unique social-emotional challenges are GT students facing during the pandemic? Many GT students are extremely cognizant of and understand the consequences of the pandemic; even at a very young age. Adults need to recognize that they may respond with high levels of anxiety. GT students often have parents and family members who are frontline workers … doctors, teachers, medical professionals … and will be very aware of how COVID19 can affect their health and family finances. Their concerns will include worries about availability of AP/IB classes online, getting into college, attending classes remotely away from friends and intellectual peers, and catching the virus themselves.  

There are strategies which can lessen the effects of remote learning for 2E (twice exceptional) students. Parents of twice-exceptional kids may feel their children are especially affected by the inherent challenges associated with remote learning and need to work closely with teachers to ensure their academic needs are being met. When working with twice-exceptional students remotely, provide them with a visual schedule and be aware of those activities they may already find challenging. Teachers should be sure to follow applicable IEP modifications. Teachers and parents can work together to facilitate learning; such as, using two separate browsers for school and for personal use. Teachers can also provide visual cues while engaging in verbal online instruction.

Maintaining a relationship with colleagues is essential in providing quality education to their students. Planning sessions that were ongoing prior to the pandemic should continue online.  It’s important to maintain a sense of community through daily check-ins, informal sharing sessions, validating concerns, and making a plan on dealing with those concerns.  Teachers can connect in-person with proper social distancing, wearing masks, health checks, and health screenings if necessary. They can also make phone calls, email, and hold virtual meetings via online platforms like Zoom.

During remote learning, schools can partner with families to raise awareness about good mental health. Taking care of physical needs such as food, housing, internet and personal device availability, and access to counseling; serve as a starting point. It is important to recognize when a child expresses feelings of fear of catching the virus, being anxious about the health of a loved one, or sadness from missing friends and family members. Schools can offer online counseling via school personnel, promote social connectedness, encourage parents to seek help if needed and where to find it, and support students in identifying and managing emotions.  

Parents can help their children cope with the uncertainty of the pandemic by being honest about coronavirus, validating fears and offering ways to cope with them, and providing opportunities for children to connect with friends and family online.  They can engage in creative play and activities to address concerns about day to day life; such as, drawing pictures about ways to be safe via masking, hand washing and social distancing. Parents can focus on the positive. Celebrate the time they have been given to spend with their children that might not have occurred before the pandemic.

A transcript of this chat can be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 1PM NZDT/11 AM AEDT/Midnight UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

Using Video to Maintain the Human Connection during the COVID-19 School Closures

Staying Away: The Psychological Impact of Social Distancing

Parenting in a Pandemic: Tips to Keep the Calm at Home | American Academy of Pediatrics

Beyond Reopening Schools: How Education can Emerge Stronger than before COVID-19

Take this Pandemic Moment to Improve Education | EdSource

The Impact of COVID-19 on Education: Insights from Education at a Glance 2020 (pdf) | OECD  

A Paradox of Social Distancing for SARS-CoV-2: Loneliness and Heightened Immunological Risk | Molecular Psychiatry

The Coronavirus Pandemic is Creating 2 Major Problems in Education, but There aren’t as Many Downsides as Upsides | Business Insider

TX: Northwest ISD – Health and Safety Protocols

TX: Gifted/Talented Education Guidance for 2020 – 2021 School Year (pdf) | TEA

Arts and Crafts as an Educational Strategy and Coping Mechanism for Republic of Korea and United States Parents during the COVID-19 Pandemic | International Review of Education

Pandemics Can be Stressful | CDC (US)

Parenting in the Age of COVID-19: Coping with Six Common Challenges | Boston’s Children’s Hospital

The Pandemic Is a Family Emergency | The New Republic

COVID-19 & Parenting Challenges | Psychology Today

Children’s Socio-emotional Skills and the Home Environment during the COVID-19 Crisis

Bored, Scared and Confused: A New Poll Shows How COVID-19 Is Affecting Children’s Mental Health, but the News Isn’t All Bad

Coping in Isolation: Predictors of Individual and Household Risks and Resilience Against the COVID-19 Pandemic (Download) | Social Sciences and Humanities Open

A Smile Can Lift the Veil of Social Isolation

The Anxiety Pandemic

Cybraryman’s Mental and Emotional Health Page

Cybraryman’s SEL Page

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Avoiding Digital Burnout

Digital burnout is the consequence of overuse of technology. It is prevalent in our society today as the result of its availability and in pandemic times – a necessity for meeting the challenges of everyday life. Digital burnout results from trying to exist in two different worlds, physical and virtual; but the indicators are similar to old-fashion burnout. Those who face digital burnout experience depleted energy levels, lower productivity, and chronic stress and physical ailments.

The pandemic has increased digital burnout because we now rely on technology for practically every aspect of our lives – work, school, staying in touch with family and friends, entertainment, and making purchases. The uncertainty of how long we will deal with the effects of the pandemic increases the likelihood of digital burnout and only magnifies the symptoms. The pandemic has effectively altered our state of mind and allowed for few alternatives to the digital work for the near future.

All students face the possibility of digital burnout, but all will not seek the same resolutions. Many GT students have reported positive impacts of being online and continuing their education virtually. GT students are not a homogenous group. A segment of the GT student population views digital burnout as a challenge; something to overcome and to find ways to help others do the same. Avoiding digital burnout requires GT students to look to time management skills, self-care, and engaging in digital detox when overwhelmed.

Teachers play a vital role in reducing student digital burnout. They can include online games during the school day and suggest off-line activities such as going outside to explore nature and get needed physical exercise. Teachers can urge their students to use journaling to express their feeling and create to-do lists that includes day-to-day goals. Both activities can be done off-line; physically writing down goals and how they are feeling. Students should be encouraged to consider changing things up; where they attend online classes, improving the esthetics of their surroundings, decluttering study areas, or how they communicate with peers.  

What can teachers do to prevent their own digital burnout? Teachers are facing online class time while providing in-person instruction, maintaining attendance records, keeping in touch with students and parents, providing feedback to students, and attending multiple Zoom sessions. Practical interventions to lessen the potential for digital burnout for teachers include pre-recording lessons, utilizing both recorded and live presentations during class time, and re-using others’ materials and lessons. Unplugging, setting time boundaries with students and colleagues, being sure to taking evenings and weekends off, taking breaks during the day and not skipping meals, and limiting emotional involvement with work.

How can parents intervene in their child’s digital use to minimize burnout? When children are learning from home, parents can attempt to maintain as much structure as possible regarding their daily schedule – rising at the same time, getting dressed, and following a schedule similar to their regular school day. Parents can provide a work space for school separate their child’s play areas and reserve evenings and weekends for family time and time away from technology.

A Transcript of this chat can be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 1PM NZST/11 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

Using Online Games to Connect with Students

Remote Learning: Keep It Simple

Teaching in a Hybrid Classroom

How to Avoid Teacher Burnout with Distance Learning

How Parents Can Avoid Burnout when Children are Learning from Home

The 7 Best Ways to Avoid Teacher Burnout in 2020

I’ve Been Teaching Online for Years. Here’s How to Prevent Burnout During a School Closure | EdWeek

Finding Balance: Are We Heading towards Digital Burnout?

Tips for Handling Remote Burnout for Teachers

Avoiding Technology Burnout – A Balancing Act

What are the 5 stages of burnout?

Teacher Burnout & COVID-19: Supporting School Staff

Curbing Teacher Burnout During the Pandemic | Edutopia

3 Ways to Help Students Avoid Virtual Burnout

Coping with stress of coronavirus crisis a challenge for California’s students | EdSource

Digital Burnout: What Can We Do? (YouTube 2:19) | University of Michigan

UK: Digital Burnout and 4 Tips How to Minimise It

Digital Burnout: COVID-19 Lockdown Mediates Excessive Technology Use Stress | World Social Psychiatry Journal

Examining the Relationship Between Student School Burnout and Problematic Internet Use (pdf) | Educational Sciences: Theory and Practice

Cybraryman’s Screen Time Page

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

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