I am not an education expert and I am not going to attempt to second guess anyone who is. I will say this, however: our kids are being traumatized right now by events beyond all of our control and we need to cut them some slack.

One thing experts will tell you about raising kids is that they need stability and calm in their lives. They look to us for that. How children react to a situation largely depends upon how we react. They watch us and follow our lead. If our kids see us brawling with other adults in Walmart over a roll of toilet paper, they will grow anxious and fearful. If we project calmness, they will be calm.

In addition to their movement being restricted, kids are suddenly home from school and away from their friends. Their daily routine has been disrupted. Routine is important to kids. They know something is up and it is up to parents to explain to them that things are going to be different for a little while but that normalcy will return soon enough.

Parents are legitimately concerned about their children's education being disrupted, but again, normalcy will return soon enough. Don't feel as though you've got to become a drillmaster and erect charts, graphs, and chalkboards throughout the house. Talk to the kids. Share your knowledge with them and encourage them to read while they are home. There are tons of documentaries on Netflix on all subject matters that are worth their time. Watch with them.

Stay calm and keep your kids calm. Kids are resilient and will get through this with a little bit of guidance from their adults. Listen to them and encourage them to talk if they need to but don't force them.

Most importantly, cut them some slack and let them be kids.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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