If your child isn’t the star athlete with a college scholarship, they’ll be OK.

If your child isn’t in the top 10 percent of their graduating class, they’ll be OK.

If your child isn’t on the student council, they’ll be OK.

If your child isn’t accepted to an Ivy League school, they’ll be OK.

If your child isn’t the popular kid in class, they’ll be OK.

The things we think matter . . . don’t really in the end.

They will be OK if they are supported and loved for who they are.

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They will be OK if they are encouraged and supported in their school work.

They will be OK if they have a chance to find the activities and friends they love.

They will be OK if they learn responsibility through work or volunteer activities.

They will be OK if they learn empathy and compassion for others.

They will be OK if they have adults in their lives who will challenge them to be their best.

They will be OK if they are loved when they fail.

Their world has been upended, plans canceled, activities shut down, education reimagined. They are all struggling in some way right now.

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Let’s hope as the world begins to open up again, they can remember what has truly matteredthe love of family, the value of friendships, and the support of others. Let’s hope they realize what they have gainedthe ability to be flexible, increased independence in their schoolwork, and the joys found in simple activities.

The damage and scars of the last year won’t be forgotten, but let’s be sure to not leave this period behind without bringing forward the lessons we learned and the values we’ve gained.

Jill Robinson

Jill Robinson is a pediatric speech-language pathologist by training, mother of two, and aspiring writer. She lives in the Chicagoland area with her husband and two young boys.