Originally published in our Laudable Life advice column in the Lakelands Leader

Q:  I’ve got kids in both high school and in college. The coronavirus disruption to school has affected all of them. My oldest is a senior in college. It looks like he may not be coming back the school year. I’m heartbroken for him that they may not have a formal graduation ceremony after all of these years of hard work.  My middle child is a dance and theater major. We are all wondering how she’s going to do those classes online. My youngest is in high school. He’s glad to be home right now, but he’s concerned when the next semester starts that learning new material online will be difficult. All of them are coming to me with questions and concerns. How can I help them feel confident and centered when I’m so worried about them myself?

A:  Remind them to take one day at a time. Focus on handling today and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow. Let them know it’s OK to be sad that their senior year may not be what they thought it would be. Help them process their feelings. Share a little of your feelings as well, as long as you can do so while conveying that this is a setback and disappointment that is part of life and that they can handle it. Reassure them that you are here to help with things that are difficult, such as adjusting to online learning. Focus on possible positives. This shutdown may allow for more time with friends and family. Perhaps it creates more time to plan for life after college. Let them know the schools closings are intended to help stop this virus and save lives. The sacrifice we are all making now is for the greater good of the community at large. Finally, point out that everything is slowing down right now, like a snow day, it can be nice if we can embrace it rather than fight it.

Do you or your kids need a little more support than you can provide? We’re here to help. We have telemedicine services for adults and adolescents.  Give us a call at (240) 252-3340 Ext. 801, let’s discuss what’s going on and if we can help. This is a time to support each other was much as possible.