For parents, there is so much stress regarding back to school. What will it look like? How long will this last? Will my kids actually learn anything at home? We are dubbed “careless” if we want our kids to go back to in-person school or even “selfish” because we “don’t care” about the health of the teachers. Or we are “paranoid” or “fearful” if we want our kids to learn from home and not in a “pod” with other kids and a hired, in-home teacher. And the parents who do opt for the pod learning, are they lazy to “not care” for their “own children” by teaching them at home? And what about those who work? How are we supposed to help our second grader with online school while meeting with clients via Zoom?
This is an unprecedented time. Emotions are running rampant and no one has the answers for what we do not know. No one. So what are we as parents supposed to do? What about the kids and school? What is the “right” thing to do?
My perspective is this, we have options. We have lots and lots of choices and none of them are “THE right choice.” It may be the right choice for us or the right choice for us at the time. It may be the only option that works for us. Perhaps due to the compromised immunity of our child or family member, our kids stay home and learn. Maybe in order to keep our job and put food on the table, our kids are in a pod or if available, in the classroom, or maybe even at work with us. For the emotional health and well-being of our kids (or US!), kids may do best with other kids or best at home.
But none of the choices is right for everyone. This is a subjective and individual and personal and a “right for us and our family” type of decision. There is not a “bad” choice, only different options. So let’s not judge others or ourselves. Let’s be gracious to others and ourselves. And let’s be positive examples for our kids. Because the truth is, what we as parents say and do is much more important than where our kids go to school. Love them well. Support them intentionally. And listen to their words and frustrations.
This is hard, but it won’t last forever.
Written by Amy S. Orlovich, MA, LCPC
Back to School 2020-21: The “Right” Choice