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We're parents, not enemies

Jeanne Sager - Columnist
Posted 7/27/20

For months now, the request has been the same. “Please don't make me go back to school.”

Please don't tell her I said this, but my teenager is smart and fairly level-headed (as much as anyone …

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We're parents, not enemies

Posted

For months now, the request has been the same. “Please don't make me go back to school.”

Please don't tell her I said this, but my teenager is smart and fairly level-headed (as much as anyone whose pre-frontal cortex is still developing can be, anyway). The kid not only follows the news but asks questions too.

They're not ready to go back into a school building.

I support them fully and without a hint of doubt that their decision to learn from home during their sophomore year is the right one for our family.

You caught the tail end of that sentence, right? The one about how this is a move that's perfectly on point for our family?

Our family.

Just the one family.

I can't pretend to know what other parents should do. I do know that I'm a work-at-home parent with both Internet access and asthma that puts me at higher risk of COVID-19. I have a teenager who is fairly motivated and self-guided, who aced their classes despite having to change everything they knew about learning midstream in their freshman year.

Ours may not be the perfect set-up for full-time learning at home as I can't give up work to be a one-to-one teacher, but we're about as close as it gets.

But we are just one family, and our lifestyle is singular to our family.

Not everyone lives like us. Not every parent has a job like mine, a kid like mine, or even access to Internet like mine.

I'm going to keep my kid home in the fall, but I understand the parents who plan to wake early on a September morning to pack lunches and make sure their kids have extra masks stowed in their backpacks, who are desperate for schools to open to allow them a place to send their kids so they can go to work to make the money that puts food on the table and keeps a roof over their heads.

Their families are different. Their lives are different. Their kids are different.

But in a time when we can only work with what we know and guess at the rest, we as parents have to know our families, our lives, our kids, and do what it is we think is right for us.

We aren't enemies, the families sending their kids to school and the families like mine who are keeping our kids home.

Here's hoping we can find a way to put down our arms and realize we're all warriors on the same side of the battlefield… albeit a battlefield of people all standing six feet apart.

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