Relationship Coach: Teach Students To Focus On Understanding Through COVID-19 Guidelines

Aug 26, 2020, 1:30 PM | Updated: 1:31 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Four more districts welcomed students back to class on Wednesday – Duchesne, Ogden, Piute and Weber school districts.

Only three districts have yet to reopen, among which is the Salt Lake City School District, which will be start the school year entirely online. As families are returning their students to school, be it online or in-person or a hybrid model, there may be some new challenges ahead.

Studio 5 parenting contributor Heather Johnson has some advice on the conversations families should be having right now.

First, it’s not about agreement – it’s about understanding.

Children have a lot of new COVID-19 guidelines to follow, some of which parents or kids might not necessarily agree with. Instead of a lecture about the do’s and don’ts, Johnson suggested digging deeper into your family’s core values.

“Another great conversation we can have is about the values we can live by instead of mask or no mask, lunch in your classroom or with friends,” she said. “If your children believe in being kind, respectful and obedient, if we’re having that conversation, it eliminates the need for mask or no mask conversations. That’s focusing on agreeing — the values are focused on understanding.”

Second, another conversation to have is about flexibility.

Johnson said if every family can make flexibility their mantra, 2020 could end in a really good place.

Talk about the word, what it means, why it matters, and then praise your kids when they show flexibility. It can help reduce some of the stress that comes with change.

Third is that relationships come first. She directed this advice specifically toward those who are learning at home.

Johnson said to put aside the intense fear of not being the best parent at home-schooling. The No. 1 concern should be that love for your children comes first.

“We don’t want the year of online school to, in 20 years, be what wrecked

For more insights from Heather Johnson on family relationships, go to

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Relationship Coach: Teach Students To Focus On Understanding Through COVID-19 Guidelines