We are coming to the end of the second month of school closings. As we approach the months ahead I think it is important for us as parents to talk to our children about their feelings and their anxiety over missing out on special events. Many of these milestones are once in a lifetime events which some will never get a chance to make up. Many of our children have had to say goodbye to relationships, trips , visits to their favorite teacher’s rooms and some have seen their prom preparations go up in flames.
In my own children I can see an uneasiness that I haven’t seen before. My 18 year old talked about going to college all the time before COVID-19 took place. We found out that our Alma mater is offering classes to high school sophomores and up for 90 dollars per credit. One of the classes is Introduction to Sociology and there are a couple of other classes. We were excited because this was something our daughter had been talking about for almost a year. When we presented her with the idea, she had a mini freak out session. She didn’t want to go to college online and it didn’t stop there. She continued to explain if she could not go to school inside the classroom,then she wouldn’t attend college at all.
My first thought was to insist that she would be enrolled in one of the classes, but then I started thinking about something. Right now her entire life has been turned inside out. While we are talking about college classes, she is still getting used to doing her high school classes online. I think we were wrong to press the conversation at this point because it brings a sense of long term changes that these children are not ready to deal with. It’s one thing to tell our children you cannot go back for the rest of the school year, but it is something else to tell them that their college dreams have been placed on hold for who knows how long. At any rate, I’m trying to be more thoughtful about her feelings and her fears.
Right now there are a number of adults freaking out about not being able to go out and get perms, nail jobs, or have happy hour with their pals. I would ask them to look to the plight of the young person today. It is a unknown road with unspoken fears. While many of us talk about the things we miss, we are at least in a position to get those memories back. Some of our children will never get to embrace the very events that helped to shape our school year experiences. The key word for this week in understanding. Understand that our children are dealing with the same situation we find ourselves in, but they do not have our knowledge of recovery. Have a happy week and be strong.