You can opt your kids (and you) out

A lot of kids (and parents) are at the breaking point with stress and despair about the entire world right now, and are not functioning in school.

You are allowed to just opt your kids out of next week, for their (and your) emotional health. You’ll need to let the school know, and there may be forms, or hoops to jump through, or threats of repercusssions. (And yes, apparently there are some kids somewhere that are doing “just fine” and still getting good grades and aren’t sleeping 16 hours a day, but that doesn’t mean that expectation is realistic.) But honestly, the schools can go shove it. Nothing is normal. Teachers are struggling, kids are struggling, parents are struggling. Your job as a parent is to help your kids learn to cope, but right now isn’t a normal set of stressors. Survival of the fittest isn’t a good goal. Drop your end of the rope, and help your kids drop their ends of the rope. By advocating for them, you’re showing them they’re worth advocating for.

If it’s not stressful enough that you need to opt them out of all of next week, you could:

* opt them out of homework

* opt them out of having their cameras on

* advocate to have the year be graded pass/fail

* give them a hall pass from their regular chores

* focus on safety and kindness and gentleness at home as much as possible

* drop expectations

While you are thinking about this, go send an email to at least one of your kids’ teachers telling them you see them and appreciate them.

When you finish that, ask yourself, “What would make me feel less stressed right now?” and then do that for yourself.

Then, go back and read the first 2/3 of this email and figure out what’s going to help your kids’ mental and emotional health the most through the end of this year. If they’re old enough, talk about it with them (but don’t expect them to be able to make any decisions).

This is the exact right time to apprentice your kids into being kind to themselves by being kind to them and to yourself, even if it means doing things you’re not “supposed” to do.

You are the best parent for your child.




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