From the PA: Top 10 Tips to Thrive in Pandemic Times

Contributed by PA President and trustee Sejal Doshi P '22 '25

Last night's Princeton Day School PA-sponsored Zoom session, "Surviving and Thriving in Pandemic Times," was truly terrific and a much-appreciated community experience, with nearly 100 families virtually attending.

First, a huge shout out to our spectacular moderator, Jody Goh P ’24 ’22. A pediatrician with Princeton Nassau Pediatrics, she brought a wonderful perspective from her practice.

Thank you also to speaker Laura Banks, a past PA President and trustee whose two sons graduated from PDS (Nicholas ’12 and Zachary ’14). To hear from someone who knows our community so deeply, coupled with her background as a social worker, was extremely meaningful and relevant to PDS families. She brought a wonderful level of empathy and compassion to her talk.

It was a real pleasure to hear from Sara Sherman ’09 as well. After graduating from PDS, Sara completed her undergraduate studies at NYU, then earned her master’s and doctorate in clinical psychology in Chicago and now runs a private practice in LA. It was fantastic to gain such a tremendous level of expertise from a PDS grad. An impressive product of a PDS education, Sara is so incredibly intelligent and tuned in to what it's like for kids and teens during these times.

Here are 10 take aways (there were many more!) from this invaluable session, which included lots of great questions from families across all three divisions:

1. Princeton Day School is a good place to be when bad things happen, with an incredible community of families to lean on for support.

2. The anxiety around school and education we feel right now because of the pandemic won’t last forever.

3. Stick to routines and schedules whether in-school or remote. Learning remotely is not a holiday.

4. Focus on what you can control.

5. Use a calendar to help parents set expectations and for children to maintain a sense of control in their lives.

6. Get creative about safe ways to connect kids outside of school: start a socially distanced book club, watch an outdoor movie together.

7. Encourage kids to write down their experiences. One day they may want it to help tell their kids and grandkids their pandemic experience. Maybe they will write a memoir or a screenplay!

8. Remind your kids of this often: we will get through this! 

9. Self-care for parents/caregivers/guardians is critically important. Make sure you schedule time for yourself. If the adults are strong and healthy, our family will be strong and healthy.

10. Make time for fun, for no other purpose than just for fun! Not for exercise, not for school, just for FUN.

Photo grid, left to right, top to bottom: Sejal Doshi, Judy Goh, Laura Banks, Sara Sherman

PDS families, go to your Parent Portal and click on the Parents Association page for the link to a recording of the full session.

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