The challenges of figuring out school this year have created tension in many families. Couples may have a difference of opinion; one parent may want remote learning while the other wants in-person learning. Is socialization (and the potential risk of spread) the best bet, or is being safe at home (and isolated) the better option?
No matter how challenging these negotiations are for parents, it can be even more stressful for two parent households. In the age of COVID-19 divorced parents have found themselves contesting child support payments or joint custody arrangements – amongst a plethora of other previously agreed to topics.
Uncertainty around schooling is bringing new stresses to marriages and families. What once was cracked has now ruptured. Furthermore, arguing couples unintentionally inflict stress and anxiety on other family members. Additionally, arguing with one another won't solve anything except create more tension and confusion while simultaneously threatening our child's sense of security. As adults, we must recognize that there is a new normal.
Navigating through such challenging times require patience and understanding. It's important to hear your partner's concern without judging and criticizing. Remember, we haven't been through this before – we don't have past experiences to draw from – and because of that, there is no right or wrong answer.
Though it's normal to want to argue and make many of these decisions emotionally, see if you can try approaching these topics in another way. Make a pact to make decisions based on current research and data. You can turn to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for credible science-based information. Conversely, stay away from gathering SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 information from social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Once you've done that, then obtain COVID-19 procedures from your child's school to better understand what safety measures they have implemented. All of this can ease our anxiety and fear and help us with our decisions regarding COVID-19.
At the end of the day, we only control ourselves and how we choose to protect our family. By accepting this notion, you will gain a new sense of peace and freedom. More so, it's important to remember that regardless of your decision, you can change your mind should you see that your initial decision is not working for you or your family.
Hellenic Therapy Center, 567 Park Avenue, Scotch Plains, New Jersey, is currently seeing clients via Zoom, Facetime or Phone. Call us at 908-322-0112 or visit us at www.hellenictherapy.com.