Parents’ Back to School Mid-Pandemic Survival Guide
Remember when you heard the word “pandemic” for the first time and had to google it to know what it was? Remember when we thought for sure all this would be over in two weeks? Families and kids have been stretched in so many ways. We’ve learned a LOT since March about the virus, about each other, and about ourselves. Then Spring Break ended and “Summer” began. And soon school will start.
One has only to look at the news or social media to gain access to expert advice. So many voices compete for parents’ attention claiming to know what’s best for our children and families. There are those who would tell us we must place our faith in God regardless of what health officials say. Conversely, there are those who say we must follow health guidelines without regard for faith.
The following is a list of considerations to assist parents to balance both faith and fact. In no way is this list definitive. In no way are these considerations meant to be a political statement that would divide, but rather a source of hope and help. More than ever, parents and families—churches and communities—must stand together for the sake of children. With these things in mind, consider the following as you navigate this school year.
- Acknowledge and deal with your own anxiety. Realize your anxiety will translate to your kids.
- Equip your kids to deal with their anxiety. Give them control of making decisions in matters for which they are equipped.
- Realize that kids, especially younger kids, feel the same stress and feelings as adults. Kids just don’t have the skills to verbalize it. Realize that, more often than not, stress, grief, and anger will come out in the form of bad behavior.
- Prayerfully consider the options that are offered for school. Make the best choice for your child and family based on the information you have today.
- Realize we are a part of an ever-changing situation. Give grace to teachers, administrators, and yourself as plans are made and changed, and then made and changed again.
- Reach out for help if you or your child gets “stuck.” In order to ensure the issue with which you or your child is dealing is a speedbump, not a dead-end, meet with your kid’s pastor or school counselor to discover counseling resources.
- In order to decrease your anxiety, take a break from social media and television.
- Discuss with your child the factors that might impact a family’s decisions regarding masks. Some families have grandparents living in their home. Other families have members who have underlying health concerns. Inform your child of your family’s thoughts regarding wearing a mask at school. Let him or her know that not everyone will wear a mask the entire day and that’s okay.
- Rather than criticize your child’s teacher, principal, and/or school administration verbally or via social media, talk to them. When you meet with them, be open, bring a solution, and offer to help. Model good conflict resolution skills for your child.
- Pray daily for your child’s teachers, principal, and kids in your child’s class. Pray God would keep them and their families healthy and safe. Pray God would give wisdom and strength to those who love and lead your child.
- Think of this school year as a marathon, not a sprint. It’s going to take time for teachers, parents, and kids to adjust.
- Enlarge your village. Partner with like-minded parents and families to share the responsibility for supporting, praying for, and offering help for instruction. Connect and stay connected to your church for spiritual nourishment and encouragement.
Parents, we’re with you and for you. Not only that, but we’re also parents ourselves. And we’re looking to the One who will supply everything that’s needed for the days ahead. We want to invite you to join us as we gather to pray. This Sunday, during the weekly Bible Story video posted to the Kids At First Lewisville page, @fbclkids, we’ll pray specifically and powerfully for our kids, teachers, and administrators. We hope to see you then.
Have questions? Want more information? Reach out to FBC Lewisville and one of our team will get back with you shortly. We are here to answer any questions you may have about Christ, Salvation, the Bible, this Church, Events, or other things we can help with.