Author Note: This article explores emotions and learning from the perspective of families. Check out our companion article, DL #14, that looks at emotions and learning through the lens of the teacher.
All learning, including remote learning, is first and foremost emotional. Emotions drive our thinking, including our attention, memory, and planning/executive functions. If our children are feeling anxious, nervous, or overwhelmed, then this will impact their ability to learn and perform on their school tasks. Likewise if we are feeling anxious, nervous, or overwhelmed, this will affect our ability to support their learning.
Although controlling emotions might seem appealing, it can also be challenging. Here is another approach you can try: focus on understanding and naming our own emotions. When we understand our emotions, then we are better positioned to take on challenging situations and help our children manage their emotions during their learning. You do not need to become a specialist in emotions, but you will need to think more about your own feelings.
Here are three tips to deepen understanding and communication about emotions for learning. While you may modify the steps to work for you, we hope that some of the pieces will resonate.
Pay attention to your emotions, don’t minimize them
If you are supporting your child’s learning, you are being called upon to regulate your emotions in real time. Thinking and feeling are intertwined and it is almost impossible to have one without the other.
- Are you irritated when you can’t understand what your child is being asked to learn?
- Does worrying about school schedules and communications make you upset, causing further family angst?
- Do you feel relieved or happier when the weekend comes?