Mar 8, 2021
1:20 Christine asks Carolyn about how the video came about, its time and how the pandemic has affected students at Dominican.
1:30 Favre explained how the video resulted from discussions she has with Hrapmann at a principals’ meeting and talking about how down the students and faculty was. Dominican’s president Dr. Cynthia Thomas was already talking to Dr. Credo about this about speaking to Dominican’s parents. The idea expanded to Cabrini, Rummel and Chapelle. They felt the urgency to have this conversation.
3:45: Hrapmann said she noticed changes in Cabrini students since COVID. Her guidance staff had expressed concern with the level of depression and anxiety in students. They were in a hybrid model – some learning in school, some at home – and all activities were cancelled early on. Lack of motivation to follow through on students’ behalf. More optimism and hope with vaccine now out. Replanning activities with safe guidelines.
5:35: Favre said all the schools were experiencing the same things with students and faculty so it was important to share any helpful hints for parents. Not to be competitive but be collaborative on a topic that was so prevalent for the good of all. Students were restless; they believed that everything was taken away. Registration took five days instead of the usual one. She encouraged students to concentrate on what they can do instead of what they lost.
7:30: Dr. Credo said if you look across the board nationally, there has been an uptick in depression in adolescents during COVID and hospital emergency visits for teens. And increase in opioid use and deaths in youth and adolescents, especially in Louisiana. Not surprising, teens are under stress. So many pandemic-related issues – parents lost jobs – and teens noticed that; teens are isolated; teens learn by engaging with their peers and no longer can do that – no ring dance or senior prom. Many adapted beautifully, but it has been a challenge.
10:15 Dr. Credo said he decided on what to say to parents. He said he got some tips from “Raising Teens” by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology breaks down parenting into several areas – how to oversee your teen without hovering. He said it was wonderful for the schools to collaborate and put the kids first. The tips include setting limits without being overbearing; role setting of limits; connecting with teens; understanding that your teens are listening (that he’s learned in his practice). Sometimes parents feel hopeless, but they can control a great deal, more than they understand. He quoted writer James Baldwin, “Children have not been so good at listening to their parents, but they have never failed to imitate them.” Parents setting the moral and right way to do things are setting the example.
14:15 Michelle Nichols talks about her experience as a parent. Her daughter is a junior at Dominican and son is a junior at Rummel and said it’s been difficult for them. Things have improved this school year with hybrid and in-person learning with real-time class. She found that they were in a funk – lack of interaction and normal things to do. “It was stressful. Having to do things differently than before.” She congratulated the schools for what they have done.
17:00 Carolyn Favre and Yvonne Hrapmann stated how they have compensated for kids missing things. At Dominican, they had ring day, but now ring dance. They had a modified rally day – an authentic Dominican tradition. Getting ready for induction – seniors and their little sisters re-scheduled for March in a modified version.
At Cabrini, they kept a tighter grip on protocols in the fall. A ring ceremony with only parents and students. Tried to do things creatively. Student Council spirit week was modified before Mardi Gras. Returned fully to campus at the end of January and there “was just a whole new life on campus.” Re-instituted Birthday with the principal. Seniors have lunch with the president in smaller groups with pre-packaged lunch and a shorter time. They won’t have a senior prom or dance but are planning a senior celebration. Asking students what is most important to them. “Balancing social opportunity with concern for safety” for students and teacher.
22:00 Dr. Credo: How long is too long for parent to react when a student says they want to commit suicide? If they are really loud about this pronouncement, a parent needs to address this. Th University of Chicago medical school has suggestions they give – if symptoms last for more than two seeks (poor school performance, frequent crying, withdrawing from friends, sleeplessness, etc.) All teenagers have a bad day once in a while, but parents have to discern if there is something out of the ordinary and concerning. We want to make sure the young people are protected. Young adults are in need of connection. Keep them in touch with their friends and family – even by phone; going outside and kicking a soccer ball; go outside to elevate the mood. Don’t worry about getting rebuffed.
26:00 What parents can do without hovering – develop networks with other parents, teachers, school counselors to observe these young kids and understand what is going on with them. You have to remain involved.
28:00 Michelle Nichols thought the video “Arrested Development” was a good reminder of what we should already be doing, especially now. The kids are normally doing social things that they are doing now, and it is affecting them. “That is their world; friends and peers have a big influence on them.” She said it’s been important to keep kids in church and their youth group meets. It’s been a lifeline. Praying at home. “Jesus is the answer to everything.” For the kids to continue to look up to the Lord and his hope and truth and not becoming hopeless.
29:00 Dr. Credo – encouraged to keep the Catholic schools in a collaborative way.
30:00 Carolyn Favre – we all represent Catholic schools and the important thing is prayer in the students’ lives. You can pray about anything. Was happy Michelle mentioned God – we always have someone to point to and pray to.