Right now there is a barrage of information on the topic of returning to school. Some of it appears to be well-intended, helpful information while some of it self-serving and even divisive. Because it’s about the well-being of our kids, the emotional charge of it can get us off balance and cause us to doubt ourselves and our ability to make the right decision for our children. Don’t bite the emotional hook, you know what’s best for your kids. For the last forty years I have been a parent, I hang with parents and I advocate for parents. I trust you, you are my people, believe me when I say, you’ve got this!
My decades of work have been at all levels (local, state and federal). What I have seen time and time again is that the people in the community are the experts. They know best what they need, and they have skin in the game. So trust yourself and trust the power of community. These are your people.
Let me give you a great example. Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the pediatrician, professor, and public health advocate whose research exposed the Flint, Michigan water crisis; why did she take the time to review all of her patients cases, collect data and stick with it in the face of government officials who tried to discredit her? Because she trusted herself, cared about the children in her practice and in the community. She was part of the community, she had skin in the game.
If you doubt your ability, let me take you back to earlier this year when schools shut down due to Covid-19. Parents and teachers did an extraordinary job pivoting. At first we were under the impression it would be only a few weeks, then weeks turned into months, but together parents and teachers did it. It was remarkable to see the compassion parents and teachers showed for one another. It would be a shame to slow the momentum of building those important relationships that are proven to benefit kids so much.
Whenever you’re feeling emotionally triggered, I encourage you to hit the pause button. Acknowledge the emotions, they will only last a few minutes. Then look for your people, the ones who have skin in the game. Most importantly, take care of yourself, your kids need you!