With less than 7 weeks to go until the end of term, many of us are starting to feel deflated and you may have hit a wall as a family. Your child might be finding it hard to motivate themselves, and you will have noticed that he/she is not sticking to a schedule, or they are sleeping much later.
How can you activate your child’s internal drive (and yours) at a time when certainty, purpose, belonging, the motivation to achieve, love and connection are all being compromised? Being resourceful and having the right emotion are key to feeling motivated. Here are some steps your child can take to help them get back on track:
1. Remind themselves why they care. The same drive and purpose your child has always had is still inside them, even if school doesn’t feel as important right now. They might have decided to scrape by for the rest of the term, but what if they thought and did the opposite? Imagine if your child did keep on top of their assignments, tried harder and learnt as much as they could…how would they feel? We can guarantee they would feel in control, relieved and proud!
2. Set small daily goals. Goals give us direction. They’re best when they’re concrete and achievable. Have your child to aim for five daily to-dos, and to help to start think about:
- What is essential for each subject?
- What can they do for self-care that would make them feel good this week, like healthy eating, exercising, and sleep habits?
- How can they stay connected with friends and family?
- How will they unplug and relax?
If any task is too big to do in a couple of hours, break it down into one or two steps. If your child only gets four tasks done, celebrate anyway! Especially if they feel more productive and motivated than last week.
3. Pair their work with something fun and interesting. Sometimes the things your child has to do just aren’t fun, but there might be ways for them to make them slightly more interesting. Sometimes, it is the small things that make all the difference!
- Prepare a treat whilst they work – tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or a healthy snack if you prefer.
- Pick a comfortable and calm space to do their work or apply a pleasing background for their video call.
- Ask a friend to be a study buddy so they can talk through assignments or check in on progress.
4. Take a break to take care of yourself.
- Release any guilt for not being productive. Take each day as a chance to start fresh.
- Consider what limits you and your child might want to set on how much news is watched or stories are read about coronavirus.
- Try and find time to reflect on things you and your child can be grateful for and what that means for you.
- Do something kind…an act of kindness by simply helping others has never been more important!
5. Reach out for support if they are struggling… we are all in this together! Encourage your child to reach out to you, their teachers, or school counsellors if they are struggling. We are here to support you!
If you are concerned about your child’s emotional wellbeing or their mental health during these trying times, provide a safe space and give your child the opportunity to talk. Here are some conversation starters to get you started:
From the BIS Abu Dhabi Counselling Team