School Surge - Tips For Parents
It’s the time of the year when students are getting ready to head back to school. Parents are buying uniforms, new clothes, school supplies. College students are getting ready to head to school with refrigerators, microwaves, bedding and the best electronics money can buy. But wait, we’re in the middle of a pandemic. What does school look like for your youngster? How are they learning when they’re afraid for their lives? Let’s take a moment to talk about the school surge and ways I’ve found helpful to surviving parental decisions about school and safety during a pandemic.
I know it’s hard, but in the words of my son, “I’m just trying to stay positive until this COVID stuff goes away.” Even if you are not satisfied with your current situation. You may have to make many decisions regarding your children, try and remain positive. Recite daily affirmations to shift your mindset about the daily trauma you may be experiencing. Take a moment each day to write down the things you are grateful for. When you become discouraged, frustrated, or down right pissed; refer back to those gratitudes to readjust your attitude. Remember to smile, even if you have your mask on.? Lastly, meditate. Take the time to think about your decisions and pray about them (if you’re a praying person). Don’t allow this time of school surge to consume your every being.
Research the Options
Being a parent right now is probably one of the hardest times ever to be one. There are so many thoughts going through our minds, well, at least mine. Schools are reopening and some parents are comfortable with the plan that school districts and boards have put into place, whereas others are not. However, before you jump to conclusions and do the things that your friends or neighbors are doing, research the options for yourself. Understand your family dynamics and take the time to explore what’s best for you. Not only are our children’s educations at stake, but their lives are as well.
Talk to Your Children
The most valuable information I received was when I actually talked to my children. I figured I should at least talk to them since it is their education we’re talking about here. Our conversations have been profound about to returning to school. Kaylee share that she doesn’t want to return immediately because:
She just doesn’t like wearing a mask all day.
She’ll be with a new group of people she doesn’t really know.
She has elderly people she is around and doesn’t want to make them sick if she comes in contact with someone with the virus.
My son mentioned:
Not wanting to wear a mask all day because it has been hard for him to learn to keep it on in stores.
He doesn’t want a box lunch, he wants good food but wants to meet new friends.
From the mouth of babes. Talk to them. Let them tell you their thoughts and feelings about their education. They are the ones that have to live it.
Researching the options is one thing, but staying informed is another. So often I’ve seen people research options, but didn’t remain current on the options and resulting in confusion and misunderstanding. This is not what I want for you. Changes about schools openings, options, and safety are being updated daily. Follow your child’s school’s social media and websites for the most current information.
Just like being informed is important, so is your input and feedback. If asked, share your thoughts and feeling about your school or district’s academic and safety decisions. Complete the surveys and ask the questions that you want to know. This will help you in making your decision. Of course, if you don’t provide any input regarding the decisions being made, then don’t complain. About ANYTHING! Provide the input needed to help these officials make the decision you feel is right for your child(ren).
Do What is Best for Your Child
So often as human beings we are so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and trying to keep up with “The Jones'” that we don’t do what’s best for our family dynamic. We go with the trend and don’t think about the effects of our decisions. This is definitely not one of those times when we should be “following the pack.” Take the time as a family during this school surge and evaluate and discuss your options. As a parent, you must make a decision to do what is best for your child and family. This may be a hard decision for some and a much simpler one for others, but the decision must be made. Live during this time with no regrets so that when we do reenter the world, do so fearlessly, confidently, and stronger than ever!
Our decision still hasn’t been made in regards to our children here at #NesmithFamilyShenanigans. Numbers are extremely high here in the Myrtle Beach area, which concerns us. Because Jacob and I both have older parents and elderly grandmothers, we have been extremely cautious. We are constantly watching our media outlets and I served on my children’s school’s reopening committee. Whatever our decision may be, understand we’re doing what’s best for our little family. We know that balance is key so that we can effectively function as a unit. We can’t judge by what others are doing or saying. We’re just grateful to still be able to make these types of decisions for our children during such a tumultuous time. We pray you find comfort in whatever you decide to do and above all, stay safe.
Kimberly Nesmith a native of Andrews, South Carolina, but a current resident of Pawleys Island, South Carolina,. Kimberly M. Nesmith is a lifelong educator. Kim is the lead consultant at Mis Education Coaching & Consulting Firm, author, and blogger. She is married with two children. Along with all of Kim's accomplishments, Kim is also a valued member of the Teach My People Board of Directors. Please follow Kim at her blog, I Do... Then What, HERE.