“Parents, Can We Talk About The Toll Our Kids’ Education Has Taken On Us This Year?”
Story by Christine Derengowski
Parents, can we talk about the toll our kids’ education has taken on us this year?
We’re home but we’re not really home. It doesn’t feel like it anyway. It’s now a battleground for a few hours every day and it has been for months.
I ask my five year old who’s standing on his chair to sit and he growls, “I don’t want to do computer school today.” I beg. I barter. I get mad.
I wonder if it’s better to log him out and let him fall behind his class.
I get him in his seat, but he’s not participating. I’ve won the battle but I’m losing the war. He throws his pencil at the screen. He’s frustrated. I’m talking through gritted because I’m beyond frustrated now too. And I’m tired.
I’m tired of doing a job I’m neither trained nor equipped to do. I’m tired of fighting a war in my heart between, “my kids are going to fall behind” and “this isn’t worth the fight”.
I resent that my relationship with my children now consists of a daily power struggle over school.
I miss the days when cherishing the little moments came so easily. Lately I have to remind myself to be present. Because after 11 months of this, I’m gradually checking out. I’m watching my kids do the same.
I miss missing my kids. I miss picking them up from school feeling refreshed and having freedom to enjoy my time with them any way I choose.
I feel like I’ve sacrificed our relationship at the cost of their education. It seems too high a price to have paid. And I regret that I’ve fought them so hard for so long.
Because despite the fact that we’ve done everything we can on our end to complete the required work, my son is still behind.
I feel like a failure every day. Like I’m the one being evaluated.
His report card doesn’t reflect the amount of blood, sweat, and tears I’m pouring into his education. It doesn’t reflect the hours I’ve spent with him at his computer or how desperately I’ve tried to help him succeed.
Remote learning provides no consideration for families. It requires a fully engaged adult on both ends of the computer. Parents have been given a full time job on top of their full time jobs.
We never should have had to choose between financial stability and educating our children, forcing parents to quit their jobs. We never should have burdened students with so much while surviving a pandemic.
Families deserve better than this. Our kids deserve better than this. They deserve their childhood back. They deserve parents who aren’t burning candles at both ends to teach them their abc’s.
At what point do we acknowledge we’ve asked too much of parents? That enough is enough for these kids?
We need choices that work for our families. Parents need their voices to be heard.