Originally Appeared In The St. Petersburg Bar Paraclete Magazine
Shannon L. Zetrouer, Esq.
The 2020 school year began like no other in the last 100 years. It is an understatement to say that the options for school this year were riddled with tough decisions. Unless you have already been homeschooling or have been waiting for a sign from the universe that you should begin homeschooling (if you have been waiting for such a sign – it’s here!), then you probably suffered from the same anxiety I was consumed by. Questions regarding safety, continuity, quality of education, peer-time, parental-sanity, and workload inundated my waking hours.
Parenting during the pandemic has been a struggle and a learning experience with beautiful moments mixed in. Now that the pandemic continues and we have no immediate plans of returning to a “normal world,” those of us with children recently faced the difficult decision of what to do for school. Now that the school year has begun and we are all making the best of whatever option we chose, I am offering a few tips from my summer and inviting you to participate in the Paraclete Parent Pandemic Challenge (“Challenge”).
No matter your child’s age, your political party affiliation, or your current work schedule – you are going to face or are currently
facing challenges due to the pandemic. We can let our lives be dictated by the pandemic or we can consider this an opportunity and seize it! When the stock market or housing market crashes, it is a burden. However, it is also an opportunity. So is this pandemic. So, the Challenge is to seize this as an opportunity and take advantage of it. How can you make the most of this situation? Are you able to travel more since everyone in your house is currently remote? Are you cooking more since you won’t go to restaurants? Are you at home more with your children and able to find time for gardening? There is something happening right now in your household that is unusual because of the pandemic. How can you take advantage of this and make it an opportunity? When you look back on 2020, instead of just marveling at the inconvenience of COVID, wouldn’t it be great if you could say that was the year you and your family: ran your first 5k together, created amazing camping memories, finally cooked recipes from that cookbook you bought years ago and haven’t had time to try or learned a new language/dance/game/sport that you love?
My house will be entirely remote for the remainder of 2020. My husband and I are both primarily working from home and our two kids will be attending virtual school with our nanny and our close friends’ children. So, my challenge for myself is to take advantage of being remote and go on an epic foliage road trip in the fall. We’re bringing our nanny since we will all be working or doing virtual school. Is there a travel challenge that would make your fall amazing? If you are worried about traveling during the pandemic, you are not alone. Here are some tips that got us through our summer trip:
More ideas for enduring the pandemic with children:
What will you do for the Challenge? How about a State Park Challenge? A County Park Challenge? You could do a paddleboard Challenge and explore Weedon Island, Ft. DeSoto, Clam Bayou, Northshore Park, Coffee Pot Bayou, and Demen’s Landing. You could do a family memory Challenge and create time capsules with your kids or put together family photo albums or videos. Get technologically hip and create a TikTok with your kids. Invest in a great canopy, umbrella, or tent, do a beach challenge and visit the local beaches as if you were a local. Visit the incredible Florida springs with a “Visit the Top 5 Springs in Florida Challenge”. You get the idea. Whatever you challenge yourself with – keep the Paraclete posted! We’d love to hear about it and see the pictures.
Shannon L. Zetrouer is the managing partner of Zetrouer Pulsifer, PLLC which focuses on real estate matters. Her passion for law is only superseded by her love for her children, Ariana Sol and Austen Lee, and her husband, Trevor.