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Parents: What You Need To Know in the Coronavirus Crisis

In my practice I work with families quite a bit, and I really love my teen clients. I also have my own children and friends who are parents managing home/work life balance in ways we could have never imagined or even prepared for. The question initially has been, how do we homeschool our kids, how do we replace the academic enrichment they were originally receiving? So many opportunities to have parent guilt, amiright?!


I think the answer can be dissolved to one simple question: Twenty years from now, what do you want your children to remember about this experience? Let's explore this... flashbulb memories are "snapshot" experiences we have in life. These are basically frozen in our minds and when we reflect back on them we remember images that symbolize what the experience means most to us. So the truth is, kids aren't going to remember running through math facts, or doing rudimentary tasks. They are going to remember what the emotional tone was in their house and how their parents modeled dealing with a crisis. They will remember how their families pulled together in a stressful time. Possibly the lesson the universe is demanding is to focus less on academics and more on emotional intelligence. For the foreseeable future, many of us are going to be in close quarters with a few select people. Can we learn how to read each others needs and respond accordingly? It's life skills camp in full operation, in my opinion.


In talking with my teen clients, I've asked them what you need to know. They have told me that as parents you are the core information source they look to. They know we are watching the news, we are the ones shopping at the shelf bare stores, that as adults we are seeing this at the most intimate level and they are watching us to field how their own responses should be. They are telling me that they feel the same uncertainty and emotions that we do, we are all going through this together. They want communication, because honestly we are all figuring this out day by day.


So if you are questioning how to parent in this unexpected era, I suggest working backwards, how do you want your kids to remember this time, focus on those adjectives and do the activities that will ensure those memories. Above all have grace for yourselves and have peace in the fact we are all figuring this out together.


I love Neil Tyson Degrasse and his explanation on how to raise smarter children, which seems appropriate in these times:

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