Parents are Teachers During Covid

Coral Gables Counseling Center - Wednesday, April 22, 2020
By Michelle Gonzalez, PSY.D., LMHC

Recommendations for working parents with children on virtual education

Virtual learning is new for all of us including myself. Like many of you, I am a working parent. Trying to juggle work and teaching is plain hard. I myself had to stop, reflect, and figure out what will work for me, my family, and my work schedule.

During these past three weeks, I’ve realized all schools are different. They use different platforms and schedules. The most difficult part for me has been that the needs change according to the age of the child.

Children under 5 need “hands-on” help. Working parents in this age group may need to hire help or have a family member assist (virtually of course).

Children between the ages of 5 and 12 will need supervision and redirection – otherwise, they should be able to do it on their own.

12 and above are independent but redirection and supervision should still continue.

The biggest challenge for parents is children who struggle with focus and attention. (Please know, this is most children especially virtually.)

I’ve recommended to various parents in this situation to know and understand how their child learns. Every child is different and learns differently. Some children are auditory learners, some are visual and others are hands-on.

The best advice I can share is: allow your child to learn in their own process and form. If they have to attend a live required class they obviously have to do this but allow them to think out of the box.

In a subject, they are struggling or lose focus allow them to use YouTube or auditory books.  In other instances, allowing them to build things inside or outside the house (assuming you have a yard – in order to stay compliant with COVID recommendations) is wonderful.

Here are 5 things I implemented in my home AND they’ve worked! On a personal note: My children are 10 and 8 years old and so far, this is how I’ve kept them on track. My husband works from home but is unavailable until close of business. I, however, am also working from home but can check in with them on the hour – so our kids are on their own until then.

5 simple ways to help children Age 5 and up for working parents:

  • Implement an hourly schedule appropriate for the age of your child (excel).
  • Use Siri, Alexa, or google to help your child set alarms and reminders.
  • Check the child’s work after the school day or tour work/ communicate with the teacher if all work is complete.
  • Lower your expectations. Classwork and assignments will not be perfect but they are learning what they need to know.
  • Hug and Love your child.

I hope these suggestions help. For more individualized recommendations please call the office for a consultation.

From my home to yours,
Dr. Michelle Gonzalez

What difficulties have you encountered balancing work and homeschooling? What tips can you share?

Leave your comments here.

Following is a list of community services that need assistance.  We would like to use our platform to share it with our friends and family in case you have the ability to help. We will continue listing these in our weekly newsletter and social media platforms as they become available to us.

Feeding the Front Lines Miami

During the COVID-19 Crisis, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami has been vigilant in making sure our families have what they need.
Here are the FACTS. BBBS Miami has committed to help our families by providing:
Food Distribution
Access to Virtual Trainings
Connection via virtual programming and ongoing access to BBBS staff.
Transportation: Delivery of food and basic household supplies
Support: Social and emotional support through Mentoring
Help them continue to provide these items and services to our families during their time of need. You can help by texting BIG20 to 243725 to donate any amount or visit:

Gesu Catholic Church needs our help!  Several days a week, the soup kitchen at Gesu feeds over 80 local senior citizens and countless homeless.  These individuals rely on Gesu for warm meals. Due to COVID-19 and the suspension of masses at Gesu, donations, which are used in part to pay for the warm meals.
You can donate here –

The Missionaries of Charity of Mother Teresa are collecting peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  The Missionaries need our support to help people in homeless situations during this crisis.  You can drop off the sandwiches at 724 NW 17 St. Miami, FL 33136.

Touching Miami with Love has an urgent request for bikes for the parents in their Overtown and Homestead programs. These parents have to go to work but do not want to take public transportation because of Covid-19. They will take adult OR teen/kid bikes because “they are not too proud to ride a kids bike to get them where they need to go”. If you have a bike to donate, please contact them.