By: Joe Lewis KB Advisor
If you are like me, try as I might to deny it, I am completely engrossed in whether my son will be successful in his future life despite knowing the statistics of the matter. It is the same reason I play the Lotto, play roulette, and throw dice because there must be a winner and why not my child. The odds of my child being a genius, ruling the world, making a significant difference on the planet are small. However, the small possibility that he might keeps me up at night, drives me to pay for enrichment, and send midnight emails to innocent teachers about why their lessons are not more challenging. I am no better than the average parent, and COVID school closures only add to my anxiety about my son’s future.
The beauty of COVID is it gives me a built-in reason I can point to in the future and say that that is the reason my son did not reach his full potential of becoming the next great fill in the blank. Yes, COVID is bad and school closures may have negative effects on children long term, particularly children in poverty, but let us put it in perspective. Children attend school for about 16 years of their lives. Those 16 years comprises of 12 years of elementary, middle and high school, followed by four years of college. If students miss an entire year, they will miss less than 10% of their academic career. Understanding that schooling is cumulative and functions like compound and the habits they develop early on in their academic career will propel them forward, parents need to relax, chill out , have a drink and attend a few more zoom parties.
During World War II in Britain they made signs that said Keep Calm and Carry On and parents must adopt that philosophy during this time of school closures. Keep calm because everyone is stuck at home and most parents are no better at distance learning than you are. If you are reading this article, you are likely better than most because you care enough to search the web for additional information. Keep calm because this will be a fun story to tell the next generation. Keep calm because COVID has produced some significant advances in education than you realize and they will become apparent in the next three to five years. For example, collectively, educators across the globe are thinking about how we can deliver the best education remotely to a student. A student tomorrow will be able to take a private class from the best English teacher in the world remotely as opposed to the lackluster one that their current school? Keep calm, because your child has now been exposed to the work, time, and effort that it takes to make their wonderful life happen and hopefully, they appreciated it more.
Carry on because we have no choice in our situation. Carry on because we will return to normal at some point in the future. Carry on because the mind and body, soul will adjust to this paradigm and eventually you will miss it. Carry on because after work is done Zoom parties are fun. Carry on, carry on, carry on, and carry on.
What can I do to help my child during this period? Take a moment, open a self-help book and read all the qualities and traits that are present in tremendously successful people. Take out a piece of paper and grade your child on that rubric of intangibles that make people successful. If you are like me, you will realize that on many markers your child is either above average or extremely below average highlighting the intangible work that needs to be done. If you’ve read any of my other blogs, you’ll know that I am a believer that strengthening the intangibles will give you the best chance of life success and so that is your homework for today.