In an April 12, 2020, interview with MSNBC’s Stephanie Rule, New York Times columnist David Brooks said that the coronavirus was like “an x-ray on our society…we know ourselves better when you are in a valley. So I am hopeful that we’re going to have a great reset.”
That is what we hope will be the case when it comes to the children. As you know if you have read anything we’ve written, we at Jeff Levin Coaching and The Reconnection Project have been worried about kids for years. We’re worried about the high levels of anxiety, the soaring suicide rate, what we call Outcome Fever and the New Parenting Playbook. We’re worried about kids who are not OK and try to manage by themselves depression and anxiety that are caused by what we call The Overwhelming Tragedy List, which includes things such as global warming, school shootings, political rancor, pressure from parental expectations, etc. These dynamics are terrifying to the children but never discussed by the adults around them, which makes these very stressful things even more stressful for the children.
Enter COVID-19, which, although now front and center on the Overwhelming Tragedy List, is one tragedy that can’t be ignored or denied. It has to be faced, by educators who are trying to figure out how to teach remotely and by parents who are now home 24/7 with their kids. It is causing adults to see the kids in a new light. It is, in fact, a pivot point for us as a society in how we—educators and parents—collectively raise our kids.
Resetting Our Relationships
COVID has given us an opportunity to begin to reclaim—reset, if you will—the connection that is needed among students, parents, and educators to ensure the successful development of those students. Interestingly enough, we see signs that this is already happening because of remote learning. Parents and teachers, who used to have limited contact, usually when something went wrong and often adversarial, are now working together and communicating way more than they ever did. Students and teachers are getting to know each other in new ways and, ironically in some ways, more deeply.
We are thrilled about this, because we know that this is a critical first step towards getting our children back on track, not only to get through this pandemic but permanently, so they can develop into happy, successful, independent adults. Brooks also said he hoped “We are not going to go back to the way it was.” We hope so, too, especially when it comes to the kids, and we are doing everything we can to support this. We are continuing, albeit remotely, with our work with individuals. We have some new programming for coaches, athletes, and teams. And we humbly suggest that The Reconnection Project’s Connected Classroom program can be a framework for educators, parents, and students to move forward together to keep strengthening these positive connections as we get back to work and school. We are offering some remote-learning introductory courses on the Connected Classroom at reasonable prices to give you a flavor for what it’s about. We will be adding to this list all the time—forums and podcasts are next—so please keep checking our COVID work strategy page to see the latest offerings.
Whether you are a parent, educator, coach, or some combination of the three, even if you don’t use our resources, we hope that you will take this opportunity to get to know your children. Put your phones down. Make eye contact. Tell them that you love them. Ask them if anything is bothering them. And listen without judgment when they tell you.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like to figure out whether our programs are the best fit for your circumstances.