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paul_s0
paul_s0 Reader
3/13/21 11:32 a.m.

Down here in Peru we've been on virtual classes since March last year.   We have to be thankful that we're in a situation where we can work from home and provide the resources necessary for the on-line learning, and the school the kids are in is decent - a huge % of the population here aren't in that position and I think there's going to be a big impact on future generations.

With all that said, we've been struggling, especially as we live in an apartment, not a house (outside space).  As mentioned a few posts further up, it's not even necessarily the impact on the education - it's the lack of social interaction.  We've got 2 kids - 8 yrs daughter and almost-5 son.  The 8yr old has been struggling with her emotions, and we've had a lot of un-prompted crying, whilst the almost-5 yr old has been increasingly boisterous and showing some ADD type behaviour.  He's also been coming to our bed every-single-night since this all started.  The first half of last year we had issues getting a decent solution for our daughter - she's deaf and has cochlear implants, which complicates the online-learning process, especially being bilingual.  We finally settled on a high end bluetooth speaker, having tried a direct bluetooth connection and a straight direct cabled option into the processors, both of which had issues (class of kids suddenly start screaming and she would be crying in discomfort as I scrambled to disconnect the cables).  Our son is VERY capable and quick to learn and has led to him getting bored in the classes, the teachers have said they'd like to advance him a year, but the education ministry won't permit it.  He has been known to correct the teachers' English...

Both kids have become very interested in playing with the tablets/PC, and we're having to limit it.  What we've found has helped the most has been routine on school days (early to bed, bedtime story, no TV etc), and trying to get out for a walk around the block once a day (not always easy with work).  We've also just implemented a weekly allowance IF they complete certain tasks (help cleaning, read a book, etc) which they both like.

All that said, I'm struggling - there are times I want to just escape and shut myself in a room or similar.  The bulk of this has fallen on me, as SWMBO is a Doc and so has a mix of work from home and in the hospital and she's got all the stress of seeing the damage done by COVID up close, I'm the only one who is here ALL the time with kids (and I work at the dining table with the kids next to me) and I try to not to dump this lot on her too.  The lack of sleep (son coming in every night), work stress (I've ended with so much stuff at work, and several people trying to make problems for me), school stress (some days my daughter is a mathematical genius, other days can't do 2 + 2), lack of people to talk to, etc etc all adds up to making it difficult to be patient with the kids.  Some days I know I'm being grumpy, but...

The days I can find time to exercise that helps, and I'm also trying to take 30 mins to an hour each weekend to get on with some model-making (0-16.5 narrow gauge, almost 0n30), but it's not much.

 

Stampie (FS)
Stampie (FS) MegaDork
3/13/21 1:16 p.m.

In reply to paul_s0 :

I know it has to be hard with two younger kids.  In a lot of ways I have it easier being a parent one week then break for a week.  I can't image how difficult it would be to try and get them schooling while you're trying to work at the same table.

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
3/13/21 2:56 p.m.

You need to remember to be kind to yourself.  Take a break. Enable the kids to turn in a late work. In the big picture it doesn't matter a whole lot. 

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/13/21 4:49 p.m.

Thank you everybody so much. It is actually a little easier just knowing that I am not alone with these struggles. There has been a lot of good advice here! We have four - two 9 y/o's in 3rd grade and two 5 y/o's in Kindergarten, and they are all 100% virtual. The older two are 180* from each other in both work ethic and academic achievement, so there's a lot of hurt feelings over what is fair and who is getting what attention. The kinders are kinders and just struggling hard. I am trying to work during this all and it's next to impossible. Luckily we are on a trimester break and all the kids are out of the house for three days, so I am recharging my personal battery and getting stressful things done and out of the way so that next week isn't such a struggle.

P3PPY
P3PPY Dork
3/14/21 5:27 p.m.

I just listened to some work-provided thing on not getting burned out and probably the one useful thing in it that I will 100% fail at is having grace for people since everyone is going through a not-normal year full of stresses that are hyper abnormal.

 

If we knew any ONE person who went thru what we ALL went thru this past 12 months we’d feel awful for them and probably cut them all kinds of slack. 

 

EDIT: that said, I have no new advice for you, best wishes. Looking our brains we are 100% made for relationship and this year isn’t doing any of us any favors

DarkMonohue
DarkMonohue Reader
3/16/21 9:47 a.m.

I wish I could offer you something better than sympathy. We have one kid, a toddler, and he's at home with my wife all day every day. She gets out to do the shopping and run errands, and they go to the park when weather and energy levels permit. Other than that, he's inside her skin at all times.

The kid is pretty sharp, and if she doesn't keep him engaged and learning at all times, he goes feral. So she's worn out pretty much all day every day. Neither of us have family in the area, and the family we do have are all vulnerable to Covid due to age anyway. My wife and I are not necessarily at risk of danger if we should contract it, but we also don't want to become carriers, so we don't visit friends or hand the kid off to anyone else.

He's about twenty months old now, and other than video calls and photos, my parents haven't seen him since Christmas of 2019. It's a weird deal and it's absolutely exhausting.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
3/16/21 10:36 a.m.

In reply to DarkMonohue :

Been in similar fun myself.  Our kids are 2.5 and 4 months (youngest was born around halloween, which was interesting mid-pandemic).  Wife and I both work from home.  Her mother wound up quitting their jobs (daycare teachers, they have comorbid conditions), so she has been bubble isolating with us and we have been paying her to watch the 2.5yo while we work, which entails her living with us as she lives over an hour and a half away.  Wife and I are passing the 4 month old back and forth while working and using flexibilities to get a full workday in.    Hasnt been the best... 

OjaiM5
OjaiM5 HalfDork
3/16/21 10:56 a.m.

I appreciate everyone that has been posting on this. 

I have two boys 10 and 12 that are being homeschooled. I have been feeling a tremendous amount guilt that I have not been a great parent. I am glad we can support each other here. 

 

Scotty Con Queso
Scotty Con Queso SuperDork
3/16/21 12:51 p.m.

Came here to say you're not alone in the struggle. If I had good advice, I'd give it to you.

My kids are in school 4 days a week but their behavior this year has gone into the toilet. It really is a struggle to be the adult like Tuna man said. 

DarkMonohue
DarkMonohue Reader
3/16/21 1:13 p.m.

In reply to Apexcarver :

Yikes.  That sounds pretty gritty.  I have been able to continue working in the office.  My wife is envious of my ability to leave the house and work in a quiet environment all day.  I'll admit that it is a real luxury.  The flip side is that my weekends are largely spoken for.  I end up taking the kid off her hands as much as I can because she needs some time to recover and be an autonomous human.  It kind of means that weekend tasks are taking a back seat to baby duty.  None of the house and car stuff I plan to take on is getting done and it'll be a minor miracle if I can get thr taxes filed on time.  It's about all we can do to stay on top of the laundry and out of the liquor cabinet.  Par for the course, I guess. 

cmcgregor (Forum Supporter)
cmcgregor (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
3/16/21 2:35 p.m.

We have a 4 and 2 year old, and have been pretty lucky in that they've both mostly been in daycare/preschool. Even having relatively consistent care, it's been hard - and there are periods like this week, where a sibling of one of the other kids in daycare tested positive, so they're both unexpectedly home. 

I don't really have much to add but yeah, try to cut yourself some slack. Most days by the time the kids are in bed and the house isn't a complete disaster I don't have energy for anything other than sitting on the couch, but trying to take some time for something fun helps - I've been playing some racing games and a lot of Fallout 4 when I just want to mindlessly destroy things. We definitely did a lot of alcohol based coping early on, and cutting back on that has made life a little easier. I put a pull up bar in the kitchen doorway and have been using it just to do some kind of movement every day, that helps too.

Hang in there.

Driven5
Driven5 UltraDork
3/16/21 4:54 p.m.

What are you doing to manage both the kids (academically, behavior, socially) and your own sanity?

1) A traveling COVID learning (and play) pod with other families in the kids' class, to share the parental educational burden throughout the week. We exchange one crazy (workless) day per week, for multiple other 100% dedicated kid-free work days. This does require a flexible work schedule.

2) When I hit my low in the fall, a low dosage of Sertraline was massive contributor to helping me through it.

3) Play more. Not the kids. You. This might sound dumb... But this has legitimately made me a better parent. It has subsequently been a significant factor in improving my overall family dynamic over the past few months. Even though our lives are more chaotic than ever...I am happier, my kids are happier, and my wife is happier. As a result, the bond between us has all strengthened as well. It has been like an 'upward sprial'. If you need a place to get started, which I wasn't even aware that I did until after the fact, try watching "Bluey" on Disney+. Seriously. Life mimics art that mimics life. 

DarkMonohue
DarkMonohue Reader
3/17/21 5:48 p.m.

In reply to Driven5 :

Thanks for the suggestion on Bluey. We had to sign up for the Disneywhatsit but wife wanted to watch that Delorean Man thing anyway so no big deal.

Number three hits home. So this arrived today. On paper, it's for the kid, but I giggled a little when it showed up. It appears to be cherry one owner. I'm kind of afraid to beat it up. It'll be a year or so before he's ready for it, but we're going to have us a time.

 

He's already practicing with little plastic ones. Can't get him to wear the hardhat, though. 

wawazat
wawazat Dork
3/17/21 6:00 p.m.

I have a 10 year old and a 12 year old, both boys, and this has been very hard on them.   They just resumed part time face to face classes this week.   This is the first time they've been in person since last March.   My youngest has been struggling with anxiety and my oldest has a hard time staying on task.   My wife is a stay at home mom and I work from home though have been seeing customers since last May.   No real summer vacation and Christmas break was odd too.  

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
3/18/21 5:54 a.m.
DarkMonohue said:

In reply to Apexcarver :

  None of the house and car stuff I plan to take on is getting done and it'll be a minor miracle if I can get the taxes filed on time. 

GOOD NEWS!   Tax deadline moved!

CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress Reader
3/18/21 7:18 a.m.

All of you (and your families!) are rockstars. 

It helps to remind myself that we're almost through this thing. 

Dreaming/planning out our summer vacation is really nice too-along with dreaming/planning what it will be like to get kiddo into daycare...

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
3/18/21 7:27 a.m.

I broke my collar bone right before the last lockdown and the constant inside bed rest crap combined with the kids made my thoughts gooo as nutty as this run on sentence.   
 

what I've found is that you need to purposefully make time for yourself. Get away. Do something you enjoy. If it's a walk do it. If it's grilling, do it. Give yourself the mental break you deserve. Ride a bike. Tinker with cars. If you need to put your kids in front of cartoons to give yourself this time, berkeleying do it.  Make it happen.  Once you have given yourself this time, you can make better choices about your kids and their schooling. 
 

ive thought about home schooling a lot. My wife is a teacher. She has two masters degrees in education. Her sister is a teacher.  Her mother is a teacher.  She has countless uncles, aunts and cousins who are teachers.  She doesn't like homeschooling.  So case closed there. 

Driven5
Driven5 UltraDork
3/18/21 8:30 a.m.
CrustyRedXpress said:

...dreaming/planning what it will be like to get kiddo into daycare...

Expensive.

cmcgregor (Forum Supporter)
cmcgregor (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
3/18/21 11:42 a.m.
Driven5 said:
CrustyRedXpress said:

...dreaming/planning what it will be like to get kiddo into daycare...

Expensive.

We pay more for childcare than we do for rent, and rent ain't exactly cheap. Worth it though.

DarkMonohue
DarkMonohue Reader
9/4/21 11:14 p.m.

It seems like a good time to check in and see how everybody's doing with this.

We're hanging in there. My wife has been taking our two-year-old to play, in outdoor settings, with my boss's wife and their two kids, ages four and six. All adults in both households are fully vaccinated and generally risk-averse.  That arrangement may be on hold for a short time given that another (fully vaccinated) coworker tested positive last week. We're not sure what that means for us or what might change. Hopefully they'll be able to continue getting together.  It made a world of difference to my wife just being able to interact with another adult. 

Thankfully, we live in a small city with a great park system.  Even when there are other people present, everybody seems to keep their distance and treat each other with courtesy, so playtime is still an option. Lord knows the kid needs a way to burn off that excess energy.

That's about all I got. Hope you all are doing as well as can be expected. 

 

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
9/8/21 12:12 p.m.

My son is in 1st grade now.  Started a couple weeks ago.  After-care is finally back!  And it is oh soo amazing!  I can actually work until the end of the normal workday before picking him up, which means my evening stress levels are much lower.  I don't have to juggle end of day meetings or hop back on at 10pm to try and catch up on stuff.

I'm very thankful that I live where schools are taking masking seriously even if there are pockets of ignorant people doing their best to undermine the health of others.  He learns much better at school and is getting his energy out.

When vaccines are available for younger kids my stress levels will definitely drop down another notch.

wawazat
wawazat Dork
9/9/21 5:35 a.m.

Both of my boys are back in school and their activities face to face though wearing masks.  School started last week and is better than virtual for them both.  Me, my wife, and my oldest son are fully vaccinated though my younger son is not yet eligible.  He will get it once he can.   We did a vacation away from home earlier this summer and had a good time.  My wife started a temporary job in June that ends in October so her stress increased though mine decreased a bit.  Sales have seen a dramatic increase so that helps reduce my stress.  I dove back in to working on the Cougar and riding the motorcycles and both have further reduced my stress.   Improvements most of the way around.   

DarkMonohue
DarkMonohue Reader
11/25/21 2:23 p.m.

Hope everybody is still plugging along as well as can be expected and having a good Thanksgiving. We're hanging in there and looking forward to being real humans over the long weekend. Mama is long overdue for some adult companionship and help around the house, Little Monohue needs a change of scenery, and I can use a break from work. Being one of a handful of people who are still working in the office makes it seem like we're doing more than our fair share, which probably isn't true, but still feeds some negative feelings that don't make me a better husband or father.

Junior turned two this summer and is impossibly demanding. He has been eating all the attention he can get. Last weekend we had to go on a rescue mission and he got his first ride in the MR2, replete with Matchbox AW11 and vintage (very vintage) MR2OC hat. It was a sweet little father-son moment. 

Edited to add a thought: 

That little trip across town in the MR2 is the kind of thing that keeps me going. For me, it's critical to appreciate the good times. Sometimes those are big holidays, but more often they're an hour sharing a new experience, or fifteen minutes reading a book, or two minutes laughing at his impromptu dance moves or bathtub flatulence. Whatever we can get, I'll take. I won't remember them all, but I will remember enough to get me through the next day at work.

CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress HalfDork
11/26/21 7:25 a.m.

He looks good in the Mr2!

Waiting for the under-5 vaccine to arrive is super frustrating. It seems like it's always 3 months away and we're just in a holding pattern till then, but are trying to keep kiddo out of daycare till it's here. We've started to refer to it as Godot.

paul_s0
paul_s0 Reader
11/26/21 7:39 a.m.

That's great, sadly my son can only see pictures of my old AW11, but I'm sure he'd have loved it.  

As you say, it's appreciating the good times that get you through the rest, I've been doing the same with mine, laughing at my son's dancing, reading books together, watching the F1(!).  I've just bought a new Tamiya Lunchbox for the kids as a joint Christmas present/doing well at school reward.  They both love playing RC stuff with me, but my brushless truck is too quick for them, hench the Lunchbox, a fun basher, especially for when we can get down to the beach.

We had a short break to Machupicchu which was lovely if tiring, my son got hit a bit by altitude sickness (Cusco is over 11,000 ft asl), so I ended up carrying him a bit, which in turn then knackered me somewhat too!  Still, it was good to leave Lima behind and get the kids out to something new, they loved the history, and at least there's lot of fresh air up there!

Here the kids started back at school a few weeks ago, but only 2 short days a week.  It's good for them but has actually resulted in me running around like crazy, as they don't go on the same day.  So Monday's for example (youngest goes to school, start 08:15, eldest has on line classes, start at 08:00), I get up at 5am, start making breakfast etc, log into my work and make sure the systems are all working, wife heads out to work at 06:30, I get kids changed, fed, etc, do some work whilst trying to herd the kids, pile them both into the car with hopefully all their kit, link up the tablet to my mobile data, head off, as we get close shout to the eldest to connect to classes, get to school, spend a few mins with the youngest to make sure he's ok (first few weeks very difficult due to anxiety from being locked up at home so long), jump back in the car, hot-foot it back home to try and get eldest home by 08:30 when the first 'proper' classes start and she needs a desk/pens/paper/etc.  08:30 is also my 'official' start time for work.  It can get a bit hectic...  Last week I managed to get half way down the road when I looked in the rear view and saw my daughter's smiling face...that didn't have a mask covering it (still obligatory here)... reversed at full chat back up the road, into the garage and sprint up 4 flights of stairs..frown 

The clowns in power here seem to find some new way to mess up every day, I've pretty much stopped reading the news, which has helped my stress levels, and the kids.  The outgoing chief of staff (outgoing as he was found to trading favours basically) has just owned up to having $20k in cash in a briefcase hidden in the palace toilet, apparently his savings, and not for/from bribes at all, no sirwink

 

 

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