Below is an excerpt from an opinion piece published this week in the Daily Memphian by ACE Awareness Foundation Executive Director Renée Wilson-Simmons. You can read the entire piece on the Daily Memphian website.

Shelby County Schools’ announcement that students and families will participate in 100% virtual learning when classes resume on August 31 has, in some ways, added a bit of certainty to the coming semester.

But there can be no doubt that many parents are feeling even higher levels of anxiety – even panic – as they must now make life-changing decisions about how to balance all the demands that this new reality will require of their families.

Parents are under enormous emotional and mental strain. And the challenges they’re facing are unprecedented: Keeping themselves and their families COVID-free, continuing to remain employed or trying to find work if unemployed, and ensuring that their children are connected not just to the internet for virtual learning but to opportunities to foster their social-emotional health – and that’s the short list.

All of this can make it incredibly difficult for parents to maintain a positive, nurturing connection with their children. And we know that when families are in tumult, the danger that children will suffer from traumas like neglect, abuse and witnessing family violence is very real.

As parents make plans for handling virtual schooling, there are people they can turn to for help dealing with the angst they’re experiencing, and the harsher realities they may face in the months ahead. And they don’t have to leave their homes or endanger their family’s health to get support at Universal Parenting Places.

Read more on the Daily Memphian website.