There’s a lot to be said for being able to see each other and interact with friends and teachers. Young children benefit from that sort of social interaction during these trying and isolating times; so do adults. Connecting through Zoom allows children to maintain relationships with their classroom and teachers; it allows them a chance to interact with other people socially; and it can provide some structure and opportunities to learn or explore new things.
But what if your child lasts about one and a half minutes before they lose interest in this digital interaction? What if all they do is talk over each other the whole time?
The short answer? That’s fine. It’s fine if all your child needs or wants is a quick check in and then to return to whatever they were doing before. It’s fine if you want to stay on the Zoom yourself even after your child is done. It’s fine if the children talk all over each other. Hopefully, the facilitator will use the mute feature effectively, but there will certainly be times (perhaps at the beginning and the end) when everyone is unmuted and calling out to each other.
Yes, it’s chaos, but it’s valuable chaos.
If your child is flat out not interested in joining a Zoom meeting, that’s okay, too. Keep trying. The unfamiliar can be daunting to young children. They may be overwhelmed by the talking over parts, in which case, you can join the Zoom a few minutes late, rather than right at the beginning.
• If your child seems overwhelmed by the chaos of everyone talking over each other, join the Zoom a few minutes late and/or leave a couple minutes early.
• You can also try having some one-on-one Zooms with your child’s teacher or another classmate.
• If your child is completely uninterested, let it go for a day or two and try again later. You can also join the meeting yourself and let your child observe how you interact with the meeting. This might help your child feel more comfortable participating in the future.
• Let the chaos be okay. It’s exciting, and nothing says “I’m excited” like a big ol’ load of chaotic conversation.
• KEEP TO A ROUTINE. I cannot emphasize enough the value of keeping a routine at home. Waking and bed times, naps, meals, activities—all these can be kept to a general routine and schedule. Make sure to have time to yourself, as well (for work and for sanity.) The school is working on some clearer structure around posts on both Brightwheel and Facebook (as well as Zoom meetings) and those should go into effect within the next couple weeks. Added structure and routine will help a lot.
As always, I am available for conversations/zoom meetings if you have questions that I may be able to help with or if you just want to vent. Please don’t hesitate to contact me for anything.