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"Parents have contacted me to share the emotional changes that they've seen at home. Their kids are withdrawing, not as engaged, more quiet, bored, frustrated, and having more outbursts and temper tantrums," Kristin Edwards, M.Ed., Director of LMS, says. "It's a scary time to put children in school but parents are seeing the negative results of kids staying at home. Parents who may have thought 'How hard can this be?' a few months ago are now seeing the results of their kids' isolation today."
Kids used to be able to go to the park with their parents, enjoy playdates, have 'mom group' get-togethers, and socialize at school. Sadly, that's no longer the case.
This, in turn, has created mental health strains. With both parents at home juggling two jobs while their children are home, too, emotional breakdowns for all family members are becoming more common.
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'Tag teaming,' a balancing act where one parent works while the other takes care of the children, is a new pandemic development. However, it provides little stability, routine and interaction, and minimum learning opportunities for the child because their parents' schedules change daily.
The Value of Structure, Order & Doing for Children
"What we're seeing with the students who are here at school is how adaptable and happy they are," Edwards says. "There are lots of changes like wearing masks, social distancing, and washing their hands, but they get to play with their friends while learning. This structure is good for their soul! They get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush their teeth, and go to school. Routine is good!"
Dr. Maria Montessori wrote 110 years ago that children have a need for order. At school, kids understand their routines. At our school, things are where they are supposed to be. Routine fulfills their need for order and helps kids on an emotional level.
As parents, we may think about how lucky our kids are because they lie around all day. But for kids, having a routine, a purpose, and an intelligent purpose at that is needed and important. Kids are learning and becoming independent rather than playing with the same toys over and over and watching TV.
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"Children are eager to have that 'sense of doing,'" says Edwards. "When kids have a purpose, they're calm. They're not agitated. They focus, concentrate, engage, and clean-up. That sense of doing is a 'sense of order,'" continues Edwards. "And this sense of order, routine, and normalcy gives children an expectation of what to expect today without worry. In-person learning gives them an order, calmness, and confidence that they wake up and know what's coming."
Lifetime Montessori School in Santaluz serves toddler and preschool students aged 18 months through Kindergarten and elementary students in Grades 1-6. To schedule a virtual or in-person tour, visit: https://lifetimemontessorischool.com/free-tours.
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