• Jessica Chrystal

COVID19 & The Reopening of Schools: With the Ever Changing Environment, What Is Best For Your Child?

Updated: Jul 1, 2020

We survived the lock down, working from home, home schooling our kids and because of this, we have effectively slowed down the spread of COVID-19.

The restrictions are slowly being lifted in Western Australia and schools are opening for all parents choosing to send their children. Although different schools have varying ideas on how to teach and deliver the curriculum, be it face to face learning or online learning, all parents are now faced with the decision to explain this new normal to their children and make a decision on whether or not they will continue home schooling or reintroduce their child back into their normal school environment.

My husband and I were just coming around to the idea of home schooling; learning to juggle our individual work-loads with shared parenting, and starting to really embrace (and enjoy) the new pace of life and the special family time that home schooling and working from home catered for. However, for us, the decision to send our eldest back to school came relatively easy. He’s a kid who needs the structure, the routine, the predictability of school and the socialisation that the school environment offers.

If, like us, you chose to send your children back to school, I am sure you are grappling with the same confusion, anxiety and worry as before. “How do I explain this to my child now? “What if I am making the wrong decision?” “What if the virus begins to spread again and we have to go back into lock down?” “What if I put my child back into school only to find out they are closing in 2 weeks-time?” The What if’s seem endless and the unknown is a scary place to be.

As parents the best things we can do for our children during these times is to continue to talk with them about any changes. Validate their concerns and worries, model a sense of calmness, encourage independence by letting them make choices where they can and continue to build resilience by helping them manage these big emotions.

If, in two weeks’ time, things change again, just roll with it. Accept that it is a difficult and unknown place for everyone. Our children will grow up strong because of it; they will be able to see that challenges can be overcome, they will be able to adapt to new things with ease, they will be able to live with simplicity and with a slower pace of life, they will enjoy family connection and have a stronger sense of empathy.

So whatever decision you chose for your child, it will be the right one! Don’t beat yourself up if it turns out to be the wrong decision. You are human, you are a parent and you have your flaws, but you are ENOUGH for your child.

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