Andy Blum, LCSW, Early Childhood-5th Grade Counselor

As we get ready for Passover break, I can't help but think of the irony of celebrating a holiday that champions our freedom in a time when our freedom has been so curtailed by the coronavirus.  We are all experiencing many losses, and we need to acknowledge them and even grieve for them. I have felt the stages of grief: denial, this is really happening; bargaining, if I can only make it to Passover break; sadness; anger; acceptance.  And like any loss, this emotional cycle and can be experienced at any time. 

So how do we deal with these losses and the emotions that accompany them?  Well, first we have to acknowledge our feelings. Name them, so we can deal with them and so our children know that it is okay for them to have these feelings, too.  You can say, 'Mom is really sad right now because I was hoping to have Seder with our family from New York, but I will handle it, and I am happy we are together for our Seder.'  If you need to, you can also take a moment to breathe and model for your child how to do that. 

It is important that we don't avoid or suppress our feelings, but manage them in healthy ways. In conscious discipline, they talk about the power of acceptance.  "This moment is as it is." We accept the thought and feeling of disappointment, so we can respond to it appropriately. Acceptance is a non-judgemental acknowledgement and awareness of the present situation.  This is what the moment is. Once we accept it, we can find healthy solutions. When we are stuck in traffic -- or we are stuck at home because of the coronavirus, we can't fix it. We can't ignore it, but we can handle our feelings to help with solutions.  We can remember what we are grateful for, we can virtually reach out to friends, or like my husband suggested, start a new Passover tradition this year. We can remember we are safe, and remind our children that we are not alone. We will get through this together.

Virtually here for you and wishing you all well.