This podcast ?episode is focused on ONLINE LEARNING and COMMUNICATING WITH OUR CHILDREN and specifically our role as parents or guardians in our children’s education.
We are very fortunate to have learning strategist & parenting coach Kimberley Acres with us for this episode. Kimberley is a career educator who has worked with students around the globe, be it in the classroom, at the rink, in sports fields, or online! Currently Kimberley works with students as a Virtual / Online Learning Coach to bridge the gap from the classroom to the Learn at Home model.
Kimberley Acres and me during our Zoom Interview for Talk About Talk
- Validation. Regardless of our child’s age, we should encourage them and celebrate. Remember: validation is about effort. Praise is about outcome. This relates to intrinsic versus extrinsic rewards. When it comes to extrinsic rewards (like cash for goals scored or grades achieved), Kimberley encourages us to consider: who are those rewards really for?
- Hold space. Silence is uncomfortable, but don’t feel obliged to fill the silence. Listen for what isn’t being said.
- Friends. Listen to what your children tell you about their friends, and also to what their friends are saying. The implicit messages here can be golden.
- Admit when you’re wrong. Apologizing to your child demonstrates respect for them. It also models vulnerability, which then gives our children license to be vulnerable.
- Ask permission to discuss important topics with your child. You probably don’t want to have the conversation when they’re busy or stressed-out. Asking permission also implicitly communicates a level of respect that your child will appreciate.
? Enjoy the podcast!
In the podcast Kimberley Acres offers several general parenting philosophies or strategies that are worth thinking about. Here are three:
1️⃣ Parents need to let themselves off the hook!
2️⃣Children go through stages as they mature:
- When they’re young, children look for role models. They mimic the behaviors of those around them. (So be careful!)
- As children grow, they start to demand autonomy. They seek independence, privacy, and secrecy in what they’re doing – and with whom. (No kidding! ?)
- Kimberley encourages us to consider it a privilege to be able to come along for the ride, especially when our kids are teenagers!
3️⃣ As a family, we share values. But…
by Brad M. Reedy, PhD
Overall, Kimberley discourages us from thinking about our parenting mistakes.
Instead, consider the words of Brad Reedy, author of The Journey of the Heroic Parent: there’s no way you’re going to avoid screwing up as a parent, you will make mistakes ? – even big ones, and that’s okay.
and to be learners ourselves.
I like that!
The TREE Metaphor
- Formal education is what helps the tree grow up, vertically. Family upbringing and other experiences are what help the tree branch out, horizontally.
- Formal education provide the trunk of the tree, from pre-school to post-secondary education.
- Parents and guardians provide the nourishment with sunlight, oxygen and nutrients in the soil.
- Parents and guardians also expose their children to different life experiences which grow new branches in the metaphorical tree. Importantly, this does not require a specific lifestyle, it just requires creativity, curiosity, and intuition.
ONLINE LEARNING Pointers
image: Unsplash @anniespratt
✅Keep it light.
✅Ask your child: What are your STUDENT STRENGTHS?
- Is it being able to focus when it’s quiet? That’s good to know. Let’s make sure there are no distractions so you can really focus.
- Is it working fast? That’s a great student strength. Then you have lots of time to double check your work.
- Is it your practice? Like when you shoot hoops every day and your game improves? Or when you do math exercises every day you do well in tests?
✅Encourage children to customize their online learning environment.
Are You Getting the THEME Here?
According to Kimberley, we as parents should seek to keep it light during this unprecedented Covid-19 experience. Keep it positive. Children are doing the best they can. When we observe their efforts, validate them. Look at this as an opportunity and CELEBRATE!
Dr. Andrea Wojnicki
Chief Talker & Communication Coach
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