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The Back to School Decision

Are you struggling with what to do about school this year? Us too. Every parent I know has spent the last few weeks in deep conversation about what decision to make for their children. There are so many things to weigh and anxiety that the decision you do make won’t be the right one. In an effort to make things a little easier, we invited Dr. Hope Seidel onto the podcast to provide some advice. Dr. Seidel is a pediatrician at Cary Pediatrics in North Carolina, with a passion for coaching parents through parentingcoaches.com. She also hosts a podcast called Parenting in a Pandemic that I’ve found very helpful. 

Dr. Seidel has been spending a lot of time with parents and asking them: What do YOU think is the right thing to do about school? There is no one-size-fits-all for the situation we are currently in. It is so unique, that the normal rules don’t apply. Virtual learning vs. going to school. The fear of Covid vs. the burden of homeschooling. It’s like trying to weigh the worse evil… which never comes out fair.

Paralysis by Analysis 

Dr. Seidel’s one piece of advice is simple: make a decision and move on. There is no value in inaction. She doesn’t want to trivialize it, but the reality is that things can change at any moment. Parents know exactly what to do, but they don’t trust themselves to make the choice. We get paralyzed by decision and try to outsource our discomfort. Her hope for parents is that they don’t get consumed with the outcome and try to be okay sitting in the process.

In the end, what matters is the kids. They watch us for model behavior. When we show them that wearing a mask is about so much more than health: it shows community, accountability, compassion. The same can be said for this choice. We are teaching our kids about decision-making and showing them that no one decision is perfect. It’s important to show them what can be learned instead of focusing on what is lost. You can’t fight the circumstances, but you can live in them. Show up and pay attention. Your kids are watching you.

What are you doing about school this fall? Share with us in the comments. 

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