Spring is here and it's hard not to take notice. The sun is brightening the days and its warm beams of light are shining through the glass. Birds have returned to their perches and their melodies are ringing through the walls. Little green buds are sprouting from tree branches. The tiniest of green shoots are emerging from the ground and will soon blossom into a colorful array of flowers.

I want to throw open my windows and let the fresh air into a house that is tired and stuffy from a long winter. But even though the signs of seasonal rebirth are upon us, it is difficult for me to feel we are on the precipice of rejuvenation.

Because the coronavirus is prowling in the background, trying to steal from us the beauty of spring.

It is lurking like a burglar; quietly waiting and watching. It has already robbed many—of lives, of family members, of friendships, of jobs, of events and celebrations. Of normalcy. It is a thief in the night, indiscriminate in its pursuit of a host.

And it just sits there, depriving us of the many activities this season usually brings. Of the chance to go out and see friends. Of the chance to celebrate proms, weddings, the end of the school year, graduations. Things we have anticipated, things we have worked for.

This bandit is trying to deprive us of our joy.

I get angry, but I am able to sit and watch what is happening in the open air around me. Grass is growing and turning a deeper hue of green. Rabbits are frolicking in the yard as ducks are returning to puddles of water. I have a difficult time reconciling this new beginning of life with the fear of other's lives ending.

My body is ready to throw open the door and embrace the warm sun, the newness of the world and the brightness of life. But, just as nature is awakening, our world is screeching to a halt.

But then, I wonder—is it really?

I stare at these four walls around me and realize we are all collectively doing the same thing. Our hearts may be breaking, but they are also awakening. We are surrendering ourselves and the things we love for each other. We are enduring a small disruption in this busy, complex world in order to take a giant deep breath.

And maybe we can use this time to continue to breathe a little deeper. To tend to each other as we would care for delicate flowers. To embrace those who are in isolation with us. To gaze at the wonder of nature unfolding before us. Let us take heart in the people out there who are fighting every day to keep us safe, warm, healthy and fed. Let us console ourselves with the realization that we are in this together. That we are one and we are collectively waging war against this bandit.

And may we not dwell on the anxiety and terror this virus is filling our heads with. Yes, we will take its threat seriously and adhere to medical advice, but we will not let it solely dominate the thoughts in our heads or let it take control of our hearts. Instead, may we find joy in the simple delights of this world that have always been there but maybe we've taken for granted. Like the wind blowing its soft, soothing breeze.

When we emerge, we will be weary and we will be altered. But may we also be like spring—flourishing and new.

May we continue to take comfort in the beauty of our families and in the sun shining on our faces. May we elate in the robin landing on our porch and the nest of bright blue eggs she is carefully shielding.

May we relish in the hellos to our neighbors and the leisurely joy of sitting on their porches to chat. May we feel freedom in dropping by our parents' or friends' homes and sharing hugs, laughs and love. May we be serene, but also awakened.

May we be better—more alive, more in tune and kinder to the natural, connected world around us.

May we experience a beautiful rebirth—just like Mother Nature is going through right now. Let it be our reminder that ours is to come.

Raising a mentally strong kid doesn't mean he won't cry when he's sad or that he won't fail sometimes. Mental strength won't make your child immune to hardship—but it also won't cause him to suppress his emotions.

In fact, it's quite the opposite. Mental strength is what helps kids bounce back from setbacks. It gives them the strength to keep going, even when they're plagued with self-doubt. A strong mental muscle is the key to helping kids reach their greatest potential in life.

But raising a mentally strong kid requires parents to avoid the common yet unhealthy parenting practices that rob kids of mental strength. In my book, 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don't Do, I identify 13 things to avoid if you want to raise a mentally strong kid equipped to tackle life's toughest challenges:

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