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THE QUESTION

My daughter was so excited to be going back to school so she could see her friends again. However, it’s not what she was expecting. She’s not allowed to socialize outside of her class, physical-distancing measures are in place, and all her friends are in other classes or not back in person. I realize that on the scale of things, this is a small problem. But do you have any suggestions? I’m at a loss for how to help her.

THE ANSWER

This is so hard, isn’t it? My daughter started at a new school this year and is finding it all very difficult as well. As parents, we want to find a way to take our child’s pain away, but what can we do when that’s not possible?

Help your daughter remember that it takes time to make new friends. You could help her think back to a time when she was in a similar situation and had to adjust.

You can also ask her teacher if they might be able to facilitate any appropriate introductions in the new class. You also might do some social-skills coaching or role play to help her make new connections.

Remind your daughter (and yourself) that COVID-19 won’t last forever. We might be living like this for another year, and that is a long time in a child’s life. But it isn’t forever. Someday we will be back to playdates and sleepovers.

Finally, we need to remind ourselves that even if it were possible to make our child’s life painless, we should not try to do so. The unintended consequence of trying to prevent your child from experiencing any hardship is a child who doesn’t develop resilience. Resilience, the ability to recover after a setback, is what equips us to handle the inevitable challenges in life.

Read the rest of my answer at The Globe and Mail

Have a question? Email me: sarah@sarahrosensweet.com

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Sarah Rosensweet is a certified peaceful parenting coach, speaker, and educator, and the parenting advice columnist for Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper. She lives in Toronto with her husband and three big kids (ages 13, 16, and 19). Peaceful parenting is a non-punitive, connection-based approach that uses firm limits with lots of empathy. Sarah works one-on-one virtually with parents all over the world to help them go from frustrated and overwhelmed to, “We’ve got this!”

Read more at: www.sarahrosensweet.com