As we all have jumped into distance learning for the time being I often get questions in my practice from parents asking if they are doing the right thing. And my answer has been resoundingly, the right thing is doing what is best for your family.
In the time of Covid-19 I know there are a lot of “right things” to do. Wear a mask in public, wash your hands, stay home if you are sick, avoid big gatherings. But when it comes to school and going back or wishing we could go back, the answer from my perspective is that you have to do what makes sense for your family.
I have kids ages 6, 4 and under 2 year old in my home. And what was best for my family was to keep my oldest and youngest home and send my middle to a pre-k program that was open. My middle kiddo is a boy and was really struggling emotionally and it started to manifest in intensified behavioral problems. Being home without being able to play outside (thank you 110 heat streak) and a mom and dad who both work caused his little brain to become emotionally dysregulated. This is what is best for our family and that’s okay.
Don’t beat yourself up if you are just itching to get your kids back in school. I know the feeling. This doesn’t make you a bad mom, it makes you human.
If you are considering keeping your kiddo home past when schools open, that’s okay too. That’s what is best for your family. If you are shopping around for private schools that are already open, that’s okay. That’s whats best for your family.
I think the most important takeaway from all of this is that we continue to be kind to one another. We are in a very divisive time and instead of putting each other down, lets focus on lifting each other up. If your friend asks advice, instead of telling her what to do, share with her that she should do what is best for her family. If someone tells you what you’re doing is wrong, tell them you are doing what is best for your family.
Now more than ever it is important lead with our hearts. Recognize that different does not mean better or worse. It is just different. And if you find yourself having a reaction about what someone in your life is doing, take a beat and ask yourself what that might be about. We often react to things in other people that we really dislike about ourselves or wish that we could have/be.
Remember to enjoy your kids as much as possible and go easy on them. This new season of learning is as hard on them as it is on us. A new normal is around that corner, which hopefully includes a return to the option of in person learning!