School during pandemic
If you are the parent of a child of school or preschool age, it means that you don’t go through this period very calmly. The classes are resumed and the virus, which has changed our lives in one form or another, is still present. As an invisible and unknown threat in its essence, COVID-19 remains the enemy of our peace.
When I join COVID-19 with "School starts!", the fragile balance that I regained through the gradual adaptation to the new reality, is seriously threatened. Because I am facing a new challenge, one for which no one and nothing has prepared me: "What decision should I make for my child !?".
In March, when the state of emergency was established, Someone decided to close the school. Someone, not me! I revolted, I offered an opinion, "that it was better that way ...", "better that way ..." but I obeyed and slept peacefully. "I didn't decide!". "I have no responsibility in this regard!".
Now, the government has shown a typical Romanian intelligence and has refused to assume the responsibility: "You decide!". Communities, schools, principals, parents' associations, teachers, parents, implicitly me. And things took on a dynamic that overwhelmed me and led me to the decision that seemed to ensure my child's safety: to continue home-schooling.
When I opened the phone in the morning, I had 170 unread messages in the parents' group. Just browsing through the first ones gave me a headache. Literally! The role of the parent presses me so much that it causes me pain! Mental and physical! Does the child’s role hurt Anastasia? Does she feel the pressure of these times, the uncertainty around her?
I thought it was time to turn off WhatsApp, to select my sources of information more drastically than I have done in recent months and to only pay attention to my child's needs. The government, principals and teachers, parents don’t start school but the children! Maybe it's time to focus on Anastasia's needs, beyond my fears, the need for certainty that everything will be fine.
If the government has decided that I should make a decision, I don't think it is incapable of deciding but it trusts me more as a parent than itself as an authority (I know it's a utopia but I need to have a positive mindset to be able to build something positive). I take my role as a decision-maker seriously and I try to answer one question, to begin with: “What can I do to guarantee the protection of my child, without denying her the chance for a normal life, for education, why not ... for natural socialization, also part of her healthy development? ”.
In my opinion, the purpose of school is to educate my child. To contribute to her education together with the parents if possible! But it is the goal that I project and formally assign to this structure. The last months of the school year just ended have shown me that this goal can be achieved harder, with more involvement from teachers, more availability and patience from parents. But Anastasia, an elementary school pupil, doesn't need school to learn! For her, school is the perfect space for socializing. Learning, accepting and following the rules ... these are the costs she has to pay to be able to socialize, to be happy.
If I keep her at home, she can be trained and educated. It matters less at the moment with what personal costs! But she is partially satisfied, in a frustratingly limited way, with her supreme need to form relationships, to share, to enjoy herself, to play, to evolve emotionally, to improve, to find herself in a group, to ... be a child!
"I miss my teacher, Maria, Stefania, ...!". I felt frustration in her voice because it dominates her soul. Frustration and helplessness. Does she allow herself to taste such upsetting states at the age of 8?! My decision to let them take root in her soul and build on them the happy and fulfilled child of today, the balanced adult of tomorrow?! No!!! It is clear that, as a parent, as a specialist in educating the child's mind, I will not allow it!
Yes, I want certainties, I want guarantees that everything will be fine! But until the others give it to me, I see what I can do. I'm not deprived of resources. I accustom Anastasia to the mask, not the government. I teach her to follow all sanitary and distancing rules, not the government. I cultivate the confidence that she can control the situation, not the government! I help her adapt, not others! I teach her to protect herself from children, extensions of parents still anchored in the conspiracy theory (a phase of the denial process) or in the full process of trivializing and minimizing the situation (a symptom of the process of over-adaptation or neocortex atrophy).
Now, I don’t hide that I will make this decision with many positive variables. Anastasia is an adaptable child, the teacher is perfectly able to accompany them through the crisis, the colleagues are well-educated, the parents are open-minded, the school is well-equipped both from a physical and managerial point of view.
Therefore, I decided on Anastasia. I have time to prepare this decision until September 13.
However, Alexandru starts kindergarten. What do I do with him!?