By Kyle Avink, Assistant Principal of East Rockford Middle School
Many of us are finding ourselves in new, and often very stressful situations; at work, at home, and at school. The stresses of what has become our new normal can often feel unrelenting. As we learn to navigate what this looks like for ourselves, we find that we are turning to those that we care about most. Many of us have found ourselves encouraging our own children and helping them to see the positive during this time.
We often feel like we need to be strong for our kids, and through that, our children have gained some incredible wisdom. We surveyed the students here at East Rockford Middle School and asked them what advice they would give to their adults at home during this difficult time. Although we won’t put them all on here, I did want to capture a few notable pieces of advice from our young adults.
- Stay safe and believe in yourself.
- We also have a lot on our plates. But, we’re in this together.
- Don’t forget what it was like to be a kid.
- Things will get better.
- Talk to us about what’s happening. It’s ok, we can handle it.
- When you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening.
Children’s incessant ability to see that positive is so encouraging, and a testament to all of you as parents as well. As a parent, we often feel the need to fulfill many roles. This can feel impossible most days. But, it is important to take a step back and realize that our kids are experiencing this too. What will not change during all of this is that we are in this together. Find ways to connect with your child; cook together, eat a meal together, find a project you can do together, exercise together, read, or just watch your favorite Netflix series together. Turning toward each other during this difficult time can help us incredibly.
If nothing else, this pandemic has afforded us the unique opportunity to spend time with those we care about the most. Use this time to talk with your kids, be present, and enjoy the time you have together. As we reframe a stressful situation and find the positive, our students will continue to learn to cope along with us and we will come out of this stronger than ever.