'Tear up your perfect schedule': school principal's powerful letter to parents goes viral

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock 

An anonymous letter addressed to parents of school-aged kids is doing the rounds on the internet, aiming to ease concerns over children missing school during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Dear parents with school aged children", the principal and teacher writes before addressing the high standards parents may have set themselves in order to homeschool their kids, including restricting technology and creating "minute by minute schedule for your kids".

"You have high hopes of hours of learning, including online activities, science experiments, and book reports. You'll limit technology until everything is done!" 

"But here's the thing... Our kids are just as scared as we are right now", continues the principal in the letter thats been shared to parenting Facebook groups like The Imperfect Mum

"Our kids not only can hear everything that is going on around them, but they feel our constant tension and anxiety. They have never experienced anything like this before" it reminds readers.

The anonymous author notes that children are probably thinking that isolation will be like school holidays – but when they realise they can't see friends and have to stay at home all of the time their behaviour might change.

"Over the coming weeks, you will see an increase in behaviour issues with your kids. Whether it's anxiety, or anger, or protest that they can't do things normally - it will happen."

"You'll see more meltdowns, tantrums, and oppositional behaviour in the coming weeks. This is normal and expected under these circumstances."

The letter also provides a fairly simple solution to the problem.

"What kids need right now is to feel comforted and loved," writes the teacher.  "And that might mean that you tear up your perfect schedule and love on your kids a bit more."

The letter suggests going for walks with kids, baking, painting, playing board games and watching movies.

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"Do a science experiment together or find virtual field trips of the zoo." It suggested. "Start a book and read together as a family. Snuggle under warm blankets and do nothing."

The teacher also addresses a pressing question for many parents. "Don't worry about them regressing in school, every single kid is in this boat and they all will be okay." 

The letter goes on to reassure parents that teachers are experts at getting kids back on track, so don't waste time fighting with kids over schoolwork. "If I can leave you with one thing, it's this" the powerful letter said.

"At the end of all of this, your kids' mental health will be more important than their academic skills".

"How they felt during this time will stay with them long after the memory of what they did during those weeks is long gone".

"So keep that in mind, every single day".