By Cheryl Bayo
How do we stay connected in a world that requires disconnection?
We are walking into the rest of the school year with our students at home, and are trying to comprehend the uncertainty of when life will return to some semblance of normal.
Stories abound of towns having birthday parades and celebrities hosting Zoom parties. There are things that can be done on a smaller scale to make sure that you and your family are connecting with those people that are most important to you.
The bottom line, from my perspective, is that feelings, emotions, and thoughts about our current situation will vary tremendously. As parents, we feel the need to “make it better”. This is not always what kids want or need from us. Acknowledge how your student feels or what your student thinks and provide them with the opportunity to share. With you, with me, with friends, with family members – just share. Then move on with the realization that we are all in this together.
In the home:
Challenge yourself and your family to engage in activities that may not be the norm. Nothing is the norm right now anyway, right?
– Game nights with things you have in the house – cards, Yahtzee, Monopoly. There are even versions of these games online!
– Cook a meal together.
– Agree on a project around the house to do together like painting a room or planting flowers or organizing a closet.
– Organize video chats with family members outside the home on a regular basis. Scheduling them ahead of time will hold you accountable to actually participating.
Technology is our friend in this instance. Even though it is easy for technology to be a distraction to our daily existence in many ways, we can learn how to embrace it to stay in touch.
– Encourage students to attend live online classes whenever possible.
– I have been inviting small groups of students to video chats through their Canvas inboxes. Even though many of them may be in contact with each other on a regular basis, I am trying to find groups of students that may not interact regularly outside of school.
– Any of our faculty and staff members are available via email, phone, video. Don’t feel as though you can’t ask! We are ALL missing each other!