The school year will start online in 2020. What does it mean for your teen?
The news that students will begin the coming school year online has stirred up a lot of emotions.
The teens I’ve talked with have expressed disappointment, frustration, and worry. They were excited to see their friends, even from a distance. They were looking forward to classroom instruction, as the novelty of online learning wore off. They were gearing up to resume the sports and extra-curricular activities that came to a screeching halt earlier this year.
Now, they are once again filled with questions and concerns. Will they miss out on school dances, football games, and graduation? Will they remain focused and engaged while learning from home? Will they lose academic ground and how will that impact their chances of getting into college?
A resilient mindset is a key to dealing with change.
These questions don’t have clear answers and they trigger uncomfortable feelings. Taking these fears, worries, and frustrations into the new school year will be tough but learning how to deal with difficult feelings and tap into resilient mindsets will help.
When I talk with teens about resilience, I focus on three mindsets: I Have, I Am, and I Can.
- “I Have” relates to their support system, the people, or activities that provide inspiration and encouragement.
- “I Am” pertains to their sense of self; their personal strengths and values.
- “I Can” has to do with their sense of control and capability.
When teens embrace these mindsets, they feel better! They are able to process heavy feelings and identify where they can take control and support themselves. They understand how to find silver linings, even in a sky full of darkness.
The positive shift always follows
Last week, one client started her session admitting she had a “negative outlook” and a belief that “things won’t change.” She was discouraged about starting school online and worried about being able to stay motivated. She was concerned that she would not make the grades she needed to get accepted to her top colleges. Over the course of our session, she made significant shifts. She was able to identify the people who support her and the choices she can make to spark a positive change. She came to realize how she could cultivate more balance and motivation by making small adjustments to her daily routine and focusing her attention on positive outcomes. She committed to practicing “I am” statements with the intention of reminding herself that she is supported, learning, and focused.
Uncertainty and change are a part of life, but this coming school year will undoubtedly add a layer of complexity that will call for more flexibility and resilience.
Let’s help our teens make the most of the changes and start the 2020-2021 school year with confidence, determination, optimism, and resilience.