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Teleworking Challenges & Children

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From March 11, when the provinces in Spain were confined, our lives changed radically over the next few months. A new way of working emerged with the support of technology. The teleworking that has been implemented for a couple of years gained a greater boom, becoming the new way of working.

On the other hand, homeschooling has become a new strategy for bringing education closer to children. In addition, to provide the usual comfort, our houses became offices and outpatient schools during confinement. The internet and new technologies were fundamental sources of socialization, as well as balconies and terraces the ingenious way of communicating with our neighbours, exercising, applauding the health workers and contributing with our posters to provide moral support to all those who were fighting in the front row against the pandemic.

With the passing of the days, we have adapted to a new normal that has put our limits to the test, showing us that human beings have the skills to adjust to the different obstacles they face. 

 Among the things that have been experienced during this challenging season, some changes have shown how effective they are. Among them teleworking, which seems to be the new way of working for the near future. This new way of conceiving our workspaces has advantages and disadvantages that it is important to take into account.

 

Among the main advantages are:

  • Greater job opportunities
  • Increase in productivity
  • Unification of family goals
  • Possibility of combining work with family life
  • personal choice of work environment
  • Promote access to training
  • Organization of your own time 


Among the main disadvantages are:

  • The environment in which the worker develops their work may not be the most suitable for carrying out their activities
  • Increases of a sedentary lifestyle
  • Increases in conflicts or distractions in the family nucleus
  • Loss of socialization
  • Unlimited working hours
  • Increase of isolation feelings, and loneliness

 

However, with the confinement of families at home, family conciliation was altered by the space that parents shared with their children, where they had to assimilate the role of the teacher in addition to the different tasks, they had to perform within their house walls. In the beginning, teleworking emerged as an option in the search for a balance between family life and work life. During the months of confinement, this could not be achieved, since most of the people, in addition to carrying out their work functions, generally had to accompany their children in their studies and at the same time they took care of their home chores. Given the imminent arrival of the new school year, it has been put on the table the maintenance of teleworking in order to preserve the social distancing so necessary in the prevention of contagion by COVID-19.

 

From March to June, most adults have manifested high levels of discomfort when having to attend their children's online classes at the same time as they had to comply with their work obligations. In addition to dealing with the uncertainties inherent in the situation we have faced, psychological consequences have been noted such as high levels of stress and anxiety, increased family disputes, excessive fatigue, loss of space and free time, among others. In the same way, parents have seen their role unsettled by having to be attentive to their children connecting to their online classes maintaining their routine and stability.

 

Because all of this, in recent days it has become clear that continuing children online schooling is not an option. The presence of children at school is extremely necessary, firstly because teachers are trained in the goals that they must achieve at an academic level, the role of parents has been distorted when they have to teach their children school activities.

 

Second, children's interaction with their teachers is totally different from what they usually have with their parents, so that sometimes the transmission of knowledge is better received by them when it comes from the external figure of a teacher. This has been one of the leading causes of family disputes and frustration.

 

Third, children need to socialize with their classmates; this not only contributes to their emotional stability but also has a significant influence on the learning process of academic content.

 

For all this, it is of the utmost importance that the little ones go back to school, of course taking into account that it is a somewhat atypical return. Before the start of school, we must talk with our children about the measures that will be taken before returning to school grounds. Among them take into account:

 

  • Children over 6 years old must wear the mask at all times
  • Hygiene always has to be at hand, we can send our children with a sanitizing kit that contains hydroalcoholic gel and if we wish, their own soap
  • Teach them to wash their hands for 20 seconds with the method recommended by specialists
  • They should wash their hands every time they change activities
  • The new greeting is bumping the elbows
  • Hands should be kept away from the face
  • Once we get home, we must get rid of our clothes, air them and take a bath in order to avoid possible risks
  • Explain that they probably will not be able to interact with other children other than those in their class, thus keeping then school bubbles 

 

These rules, if possible, should be explained prior to the start of classes and reinforce them whenever we can. The return to class will entail a period of adaptation for all parents, teachers and children. The little ones need our accompaniment at all times, paying special attention to the presence of fear, nervousness or emotionally distraught. It is vitally important that they feel comfortable to be able to express their emotions freely by providing strategies to help them deal with them. Children can cope with this by elaborating their feelings while parents must validate those emotions, name them, and empathize with them.

 

The return to the school routine will bring infinite benefits for children and parents, especially if telework is here to stay. This will surely give us more stability to adapt to our new normal.

 

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