The quote that started it all.
About a month ago, there was a popular quote circulating the social medial world stating advice for parents approaching the new school year. The quote essentially suggested parents put on a happy face for their children so their children embrace the school year with a positive attitude.
There is no denying that positivity is an extremely powerful tool to have in your arsenal of life-skills. Teaching your kids to embrace change and uncertainty with a positive mindset is a valuable life lesson. However, this shouldn’t be confused with masking, or covering up emotions.
Disappointment, apprehension, and anxiety are all parts of life and feelings that we are destined to encounter at some point. The goal shouldn’t be to hide or bury these feelings but to work through them with your tribe of support.
With that said, the news of virtual or hybrid schooling is spreading like wildfire.
If there was one perfect word to describe this year’s situation it would be chaotic. With so many unknowns, unlimited outspoken perspectives and multiple balls to juggle, back to school has taken on a new look in the form of unrest and craziness.
Unfortunately, gone are the days of excited kids running through the back to school aisles picking out new lunch boxes, binders, and more. Now, we’ve turned to laptops, Chromebooks, and confused, over-worked parents, filling in as teachers.
The pandemic truly has shifted our society and reached even the youngest people.
The mama bear in me wants to curl up and protect them, and their education, with all I have. But, the realist in me knows their strength is far greater than I give them credit for and that God has a bigger plan for all of us.
My feelings on back to school might not be all sunshine and rainbows and I certainly don’t plan to present that perspective to my kids.
I want them to understand that it will be challenging and different. We are going to have a lot of hurdles to overcome and we will miss the way things used to be. However, we are also going to find the beauty, the silver lining. We are going to lean on each other and our closest friends, neighbors, and family to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
We don’t need to pretend that everything is perfect-sunshine and unicorns.
But we do need to learn to look for those rare unicorns amidst the chaos and uncertainty. Rather than pretending like this situation isn’t messy, I’m going to be open and honest with my kids and show them how to get through challenging situations.
Think about things from their perspective for a moment.
As a parent you decide to “put on a happy and excited” face for your child when you explain the format for new school year. Still you know very well that it is going to come with challenges and hurdles. Your children begin their school year feeling anxious, confused, sad, among other natural emotions that come with change. However, they’ve been told that this is going to be a wonderful, positive experience. In an attempt to set a positive precedence, what you’ve actually done here is create confusion and self-doubt.
So, it is in listening to my brain (my heart is the crazy one) and having faith that I’m able to embrace this year with a new perspective. It is going to be okay, and we will come out on top, but for now, it is okay to be confused, anxious and disappointed. We are facing major change and things don’t always go as planned.
Still, we can do anything we put our minds too.
Our family will spend extra time outdoors and truly enjoy the time spend together. We will get messy in the kitchen learning and exploring. We will read more than we’ve ever read before. Some days we may sleep in a little longer, rainy or snowy days we may enjoy an early evening movie with popcorn and pizza, and bedtime may vary. We will be flexible. We will eat dinner as a family, without the rush of after-school extracurriculars.
Most importantly we will not take for granted the importance of human connection. Our family will love harder than ever and grow in our relationships. Family time will be a non-negotiable staple to our daily routine. We will make the best of this situation and come out stronger than ever before.