Back to school choices usually revolve around backpacks, school supplies and new clothes. This year millions of parents will first have to answer Online or In Classroom?
Even though it is a simple question where there are only two options, this question spawns dozens of follow-up questions:
It’s a lot to think about and a lot to consider. As parents, we may have thought through some of these decisions before when choosing a public school versus a private, charter or home-schooling option. But this feels different. This time it’s not only about the learning environment for our children, it is about their health and safety as well.
Parents are taking to social media, asking other local parents “what are you going to do?” I only listed ten questions above, but there are so many others.
You may be tempted to enter the “what if…” spiral. I wrote a blog years ago on how looking at “what if” scenarios can lead to Analysis Paralysis, where you have so much data it’s difficult to decide what to do next. I wouldn’t be surprised if many parents fall into that trap while trying to make this decision as well.
It’s hard to know what the “right” thing to do is. We’ve heard “these are unprecedented times” over and over. No one has ever been through anything like this before, so how would we know what is “right”. And by calling something “right” that implies there is something “wrong” -is that true?
Things are uncertain and when we are faced with uncertainty, it’s easy to let fear take over. Thoughts like – how will this impact them long term? What will this do to their chance of getting into college? What if they don’t understand this fundamental concept and struggle through the rest of their school life? These are all fearful thoughts and we must recognize them as such. We cannot slip into the fear of “what if” as it will only create more angst for ourselves and for our students.
The opposite of fear is love. What if we focus on loving our children through this process, instead of being worried with fear? We have the power to create an environment for our children where we embrace this experiment and set aside the expectations. We can choose the path we think is right today and if it doesn’t work out, we can make adjustments. Our reaction will influence how this school year will impact our children. How powerful would it be if we embraced the unknown, set aside our fear and focused on loving our children through it all?
Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash
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I started writing this blog because I wanted to have deeper conversations beyond "How are you?", "Busy", with other parents. Over the years I've shared personal stories, articles, authors and topics to facilitate conversations with parents about the joys and the challenges of parenting.