I have never been an anxious person, but wow has COVID-19 played a leading role in my lack of a carefree life. I was skimming random articles on the internet when one titled “COVID stole My Motherhood Joy.” That headline stopped me in my random scrolling and I read it. It made me think how much parent guilt, worry and questions have been on my mind these past couple of months. It was good to know that someone else was feeling like it did, but didn’t really make me feel any better.
As the summer comes to an end, the school year is staring at us again.
One of the hardest decisions you will have to make in 2020 is the choice to do e-learning, in person, or home school your child(ren). There is no wrong decision here, but the anxiety and guilt of wanting to do right by your child is ever present. There are several factors that will play a part in what is best for your child(ren) and family, and no it doesn’t get any easier.
I am sure a lot of you have seen the three options parents have regarding the magical question of what to do with their children and their learning for the 2020-2021 school year. The thing is there is no right or wrong answer. Family dynamics, the necessity of work for the parents, and the learning style of the child all play into attempting to figure out what is best for each individual family. There have been three factors that I focused on to help me decide what is the best fit for my family regarding the children returning to care/school. Hopefully this can help you wonder and help guide your decision as well.
- Social emotional and mental health of my children.
I have two boys and they are very opposite of one another. One thrives in group play and making friends wherever he goes. Another is very content to have alone time for most of the day but never turns down a good playgroup session. Social emotional health will differ from child to child and their need for those social interactions will vary as well. Home school or e-learning may have an impact on your child if they thrive being around other children.
- Health of my children and the immediate family surrounding the children.
My children rarely get sick and our household is healthy overall, so we have a little bit more liberty and wiggle room with the risk to others in our household. Anytime family wants to come visit or anything like that we do let them know our children are in school. That way they can be informed and decide on that information as well. However, this decision may have to take more consideration if there is a family member who is high risk or has a susceptible immune system in the immediate household. Everyone wants their children to be protected from any kind of virus or bacteria. Understand that whatever you decide, it was the right decision for your family.
- Not letting guilt or others bully me into making me paranoid about my decision.
Like previously stated this is not a decision that has a wrong answer to it. What works for one family might not work for the next. This is not a one size fits all solution. So we need to give ourselves some grace and know and our heart of hearts that we made the best decision that we could for our child(ren). Do what you can by feeding them an unnecessary amount of chicken nuggets (if it calls for it) and go face mask shopping if you need to. Take a breath and just try your best.
I wish nothing but the best for every parent who had to make this decision this year.
Lead Preschool Teacher
Social Emotional Coordinator