Back To School Parenting: Ten Opportunities To Pay Attention To

Today, we talk back to school parenting, during "these times".  


For me, COVID 19 acted like a magnifying lens helping me to pay even closer attention to my kids’ experience. 


As parents, we want to know that our kids will be alright, and with them facing a new school reality, I had some anxiousness.  


After watching my girls leave yesterday morning, I’m pleased to say I was less anxious and most inspired. 

In our house, the first day of school felt very much the same as others. COVID has not changed or ruined it. It is different, yes. And also, in that difference, there are opportunities.


Ten Opportunities To Pay Attention To "During These Times"

  1. Opportunities to face heavy disappointments. To know that they will be hard AND that we will get through it.  
  2. Opportunities to adapt to significant changes in routine and structure, together we figure it out
  3. Opportunities to meet new challenges with conscious creativity (like having fun picking out and decorating the new protective face masks; and learning how to connect in new ways that include 6 feet or 3 m distance barriers.)  
  4. Opportunities to discuss big world issues around health, government, vaccines, and agendas and do so with curious consciousness.  
  5. Opportunities to face, process, and learn about human emotions (like fear, inadequacy, loneliness, and hopelessness), and in doing this, expanding our capacities to experience our future.  
  6. Opportunities to support one another with grace as all of this happens and feel how blessed we are to have this support.
  7. Opportunities to connect with our bodies, paying close attention to the signs and signals our bodies give us, tuning into this prepares us for long life.
  8. Opportunities to expand conversations with friends, family, teachers, and community members as we discover new ways of community and learning.
  9. Opportunities to reflect, define, and know what is ‘most’ important to us.
  10. Opportunities to take off our inner masks (as we put on the outer ones); and, in doing so, come closer to our truths and shadows.


One of the most important things I see as I write this is that the opportunities listed (every single fricken one of them) are relevant all the time, not just “during these times.”  


Yes, these times are slapping us across the face with the need to pay attention to our opportunities. To wake-up the sleeping beauty, that is you and me.


I write this post with gratitude towards my kids, thanking them for helping me to see opportunities through their resilient lens. 


I also thank this virus; for its role in providing me with an unavoidable new lens to see my world. And, of course, I’d much rather be woken up by Prince Charming (well in my case, Princess Leia, because come on, she’s hot), but I know I don’t live in a fairy tale!


To all the parents, grandparents, and caregivers, as we receive our kids home on their first days and weeks of school in this new paradigm, I invite you to keep these words close to heart:   

  • Curiosity: to what’s possible 
  • Gratitude: for what is
  • Compassion: to the current realities 
  • Sovereignty: over choice and action
  • Courage: to keep going
  • Love: to heal and connect

Here’s to all of you!


P.S. As I write about our time's "opportunities," I want to be super clear that we will often, (maybe most often), not see them immediately. It is extremely hard to see the opportunities when we're in them (it can be done with practice, but it's not how most of us have been taught).

Reflecting and repairing our mishaps (as quickly as we are able) and supporting our kids to do the same is the best thing I believe we can do to serve our relationships and our growth - and isn't that’s the stuff we're here for!! 


About the author:  Maurice Thibodeau is a father (of three), husband, life coach, and creator of the Life Inventory Assessment. He specializes in working with busy professionals, CEO's and executives, in a transformative coaching approach that supports leaders to be their best (at home and at work). 



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