Back to school. Usually there’s a scurry to the store for snacks for lunch during the week, making sure they know their schedule and excitement is in the air for a new year. Instead, we’re trying to find the right mask to accommodate our kid’s for the school day. Or, if distance learning is how the year is kicking off it’s making sure we have our kids ready to navigate online. It’s a whole lot of unknown and angst. An important facet of having a whole lot of unknowns in the school year be more balanced and sane than not, is having a game plan. Having tips for getting through Back to School during COVID is critical. Trying to wing it, even though we’re massively stretched, tired and overwhelmed, will inevitably bring more stress and frustration. So, let’s kick out some feasible ideas for making the school year less daunting.
Realistic expectations all around…
Trying to have a school year like you did the first 2/3 of last year isn’t going to happen. It just isn’t. Laying out expectations for our kids and ourselves allows for everyone know that we’re in this together and responsibility absolutely exists, but trying to be 100% of what was a year ago just isn’t going to happen. For mom, dad, grandparent or whoever the guardian is to maintain their 11 hats and give to the same capacity is unrealistic right now. It’s reminding them that we love and support them, but different times means we have to be fair to one another. Juggling is different than it has ever been before. I say all this to not evoke anxiety with our kids, but instead to be honest and realistic. It’s going through this together, but during such challenging times, we have to be fair to one another.
That’s what a family is…supportive
This means dinner time may look different. Having left overs, heating up a frozen pizza or doing take out will help with time management and stress. School projects that may have been all decked out or where we’ve had a few hours to help out, may require compromise. In order for us to be as balanced as we can, for communication to be strong and healthy, it’s allowing for things to be scaled back a bit. Right now, that’s not a short coming on our end. It’s simply, what’s fair.
Tips for getting through Back to School during COVID
As adults, our stress is high. Sometimes in our stress and angst we can minimize the impact things have on our kids. We have millions of kids who may be nervous with a return to school. Or kids who are, once again, learning virtually. Kids who miss their friends. Kids who are confused or angry. Allowing our young people to express how they feel is important. Their emotions are real. It can be tempting to let our kids hang in their rooms for extended hours in the day. Right now, giving them a platform to express how they feel will connect to the vibe of the upcoming school year.
Are they scared? Frustrated? Angry? Lonely? Allow them to identify their emotions.
Little BIG wins
Be fair to yourself. Be fair to your kids. We can’t be the super parents we may have considered ourselves a year ago. It’s meeting ourselves where we’re at. It’s doing our best with what we have. And it’s relaying this message to our kids. Do the best with what you have. Celebrate little big wins. Our normal is the furthest thing from normal. In the past year things have been tossed up, down and all around. Instead of looking at what we’ve done wrong or where we’ve fallen short, celebrate the little big wins. I mean it. To say we fall short is simply unfair. Each of us, kids included, have been given less cards in a full card game. Do what you can do with what you have. We can beat ourselves up. And so can our kids.
At the end of the day, give a shout out for something positive during the day. We can absolutely acknowledge frustration, that can be a good thing. But it is also allowing the acknowledgement of something good during the day. This may seem minor, but it isn’t. Gratitude and positivity are two concepts we must strive for BIG time.
You’re going to screw up
Yup. Every single day there will be flukes, frustrations and glitches. Whether it’s us or our kids. I’ve been massively humbled these past 6+ months. I am not in control of the decisions that are made nationally or in my own community. Decisions that impact my day to day life. Decisions that impact every one of our kids. These changes make for a perfect storm of glitches and screw ups. And guess what? It has happened and will continue to. Refrain from allowing this to be an outlet to complain and confirm that we’re falling short or are bad at what we do. Our kids hear that, they absorb it. Do what you can do with what you have.
You are awesome
You’re awesome. Absolutely awesome. And so are your kids. We need to hear this more often. Especially in times where we’re more inclined to cry than laugh. Guess what? You are awesome and you and your kids will get through this. It isn’t going to be easy. There will be glitches. But when we fight like all get out to use this crazy season of life to make us stronger and more grateful, it will make us better in the end. I know that’s easier said then done. But, let’s fight for ourselves and our loved ones. Let’s pursue gratitude. May we take time to remind ourselves that we will get through this. Allow for time to take a few breathes, have a time out and regroup. We’re human, my friends, as our kids are.
When we go forward in unity and with a mindset that we will do the best we can with what we have it sends a message that’s void of perfection and negativity. Sending you an abundance of peace, love and goodness as we head into a new school year.