A mother's viral post explaining how she's encouraged her son through remote learning is hitting home for parents on Facebook.
Christine Derengowski, a writer from Grand Blanc, Michigan, shared with her followers the unique perspective she said she gave her 7-year-old son when he was recently struggling with an assignment.
"I said, 'You won’t get in trouble and you can’t fail first grade. In fact, you’re kind of a superhero yourself,'" Derengowski wrote in the Facebook post on Feb. 11. "He sat up in his chair just a little and looked at me with disbelief."
She went on, "I said, 'Do you know that no kids in the history of kids have ever had to do what you’re doing right now? No kids in the history of kids have ever had to do school at home, sitting in their bedroom, watching their teacher on a computer. You and your friends are making history.'"
Derengowski explained how a "visible weight" was lifted from her child's shoulders. The post was shared 713,000 times.
"I wanted him to know that he wasn't alone -- that his friends are all struggling and they're all doing a great job," Derengowski said, adding that the comments from families were "overwhelmingly positive."
"It made me feel like I wasn't alone as a parent--hearing the stories," she said.
Derengowski, who has another child in kindergarten, said both her kids have been learning remotely since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and are now engaging in hybrid models.
She said there have been many challenges and her boys have fallen behind in their work. She would like them to return to full-time, in-person learning as soon as possible.
"This has been more of a detriment learning at home than [it has been] helping them," Derengowski told "Good Morning America." "I'd rather have them in school due to the social aspect, independence -- things you can't substitute in remote learning."
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) said the goal should be "to have students physically present in school," though it supports schools closely following guidance provided by public health officials.
"Children absolutely need to return to in-school learning for their healthy development and well-being, and so safety in schools and in the community must be a priority," said Dr. Lee Beers, a fellow and president of the AAP. "We know that some children are really suffering without the support of in-person classroom experiences or adequate technology at home. We need governments at the state and federal levels to prioritize funding the needed safety accommodations, such as improving ventilation systems and providing personal protective equipment for teachers and staff."
Derengowski said she shared her experience to remind parents to "hug your little superheroes today" and "don’t forget to cut them the slack."
She said she's also noticed positive changes since talking with and "easing up" on her kids about their assignments.
Her message to others is to motivate children as they navigate online schooling and try placing less pressure on them and yourselves as parents, she added.