READY, SET: FAMILY SYSTEMS CHECK ✓

Updated: Oct 23


Parenting has always been hard...in the best of times. In this brave new world of ours, we are flexing our muscles to adapt, attempting a growth mindset, and doing our best to get through each day.


Like you, I’m grappling with worries about screen time, exercise, nutrition, social isolation, mental health, and oversight of virtual schooling. I’m also struggling with my own self-care, work/life balance, and the new challenges surrounding working from home with 24-7 family togetherness.


Now that we are six to eight weeks into the 2020-21 school year, you may be ready to take stock of your family’s current situation. What really needs attention and what can you leave be? Prioritizing what matters most makes change feel less overwhelming, and picking your battles has never been more true.


First, conduct a family systems check: an overview of what is working well and what needs improvement for your family and each of your children. We recommend selecting only one family area of focus and no more than two areas of focus for each child at a time. Once improvements are made and goals achieved, you can reassess and turn to other areas. Hyperlinks for useful resources are included for each bullet point in our suggested systems check below.


What needs work in your home?



What are your areas of concern for your child?


How do you know if your child needs additional academic support?

  • Are you happy with the amount of live, synchronous instruction your child is receiving?

  • Can your child complete work independently?

  • Do you or another adult in the home have the time, energy, and skill set to work with your child?

  • Does working with your child create conflict?

  • Have teachers reached out about missing and late assignments?

  • Does your child frequently complain of not understanding a teacher’s explanations or of not knowing ‘what to do?’

  • Have one or more teachers expressed concern about your child’s skills as compared to same-aged peers?

  • Does your child have diagnosed learning differences?

  • Is your child willing to accept help?

It may be time to seek additional educational support for your child.


Distance Learning Resources

Parent Resources


If after reading this you’d like to hide under the covers indefinitely, please accept my apologies for adding to your stress level! To give you a sense of how my family is doing with our systems check...we are nearing 100 movies watched during the pandemic.


Go easy on yourself!


In solidarity,


~Amy Hayutin Contreras

Partner, Hayutin & Associates


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