As the school year starts to creep closer and closer many parents are starting to face major decisions when it comes to their children…
Should they return back to school? Should you try your hand at homeschooling? Should you start pricing out nannies or see how available your family would be to help?
Some parents don’t have the option to keep their children away from school, maybe there’s no one to supervise your kids while you’re at work, or the cost of homeschooling is astronomical compared to sending them back.
Others may have the option of keeping them home but the guilt of doing so has you stuck in limbo about what to do.
Not only are you deciding if they should go back to school, but you’re also making other huge decisions. Things like, should you let your kids start sports again? Is it okay if they hang out with their friends more? Should they go back to their part-time jobs?
As you face these difficult decisions you’re most likely feeling a bit of stress and maybe even some guilt around what the final decision will be. You don’t want your children to miss out on anything but you also want to keep them safe.
There are a lot of different options when it comes to making these choices and not to mention... a lot of different opinions as well.
Maybe your little one has been looking forward to their first day of kindergarten or your teen doesn’t want to miss out on any of the awkward days of middle school.
The goal here though is to make the decision as a family unit while putting the health and safety of your children first.
Easier said than done right?
Making Decisions as a Team
Any type of decision making can lead to confusion, especially when everyone is wanting different things.
How is it possible to make such impactful decisions when there are so many rings in the fire?
These next few pointers will hopefully help to keep everyone on the same page while you navigate your options together.
1. Look at the big picture
In the grand scheme of things (and assuming things calm down by the Spring), one semester is not a lot of time. That’s four months of learning out of a 78.6-year life span.
This point isn’t meant to minimize the decisions at hand, but it does help you see the small window of time that this choice will be affecting.
If you have the option to try your hand at homeschooling, then give it a shot! You may be surprised by how much your children enjoy it, or you may be thankful that the four months will fly by.
If instead, you and your family feel that there’s not a risk in sending your children back to school then do that.
Other people will always have an opinion about your decisions, but you’ll have the support of your family when you reach a consensus together.
2. Keep the end goal in mind
Health, education, and safety are the goal. And for families needing to make these tough decisions, it’s important to keep these things in mind.
Some of you will feel that your children are protected and will get a better education back at school while others will feel that their kids are safer and can be educated at home.
Looking at this choice, and all of the possibilities that come with it will help remind everyone involved that you want the best for your children, and the best can mean different things for everyone.
3. Stay flexible
We don’t know how long this pandemic will rage on. There could be a vaccine finished by next week or we may be waiting months for things to get back to “normal.”
With that in mind, it’s important that you stay flexible as this semester rolls on.
The cases in a school may get so high that you’ll have to transition your child into online classes midway through. Or, the schools may do such a good job of controlling the virus that everyone may be switched to in person sooner than we expected.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned this year, it’s that adapting to what’s happening in the moment is important, and making these decisions one at a time can help you manage that change.
Be open with any feelings you’re experiencing as these transitions are made. And keep in mind that no matter what choice you and your family make there’s always a possibility of it changing.
I encourage you to stick together as a team as you navigate these times because at the end of the day… we’re all in this together.