It’s been a while since I’ve written a post. These crazy times during Covid-19 have turned my routine upside down. I can only imagine its effect on the routine of children and their parents. Parents aren’t working and their kids aren’t going to school. In short, the creation of the perfect pressure cooker environment.
I’ve heard from many parents how difficult and frustrating these times can be. There’s the juggling of cooking, putting 3 meals on the table, video chats for work and for school, trying with every ounce to keep a routine which doesn’t include TV or screens 24/7. I’m exhausted just thinking about all that juggling and I’m sure there’s much more…
Not to be totally negative, there are many moments of togetherness and fulfillment to be had during these forced stay at home times. But here’s the thing, parents have a unique opportunity to really pay attention to their kids. They can linger on their strengths, which in turn gives them that special boost of self- esteem. Not having to follow a rigid classroom schedule may have its perks. For example, let’s say your seven year old who deals with ADHD is sitting at the kitchen table with her magic markers all lined up and her drawing pad. This is a good time to compliment her and let her linger if she’s really into it. This is your chance to emphasize what great colors she’s picked or tell her how interesting her drawing is. And a helpful hint, if they are actually drawing for an extended period of time and want to continue, this is no time to stick to the schedule and say “lunch is ready.” Lunch can certainly wait. This kind of attention can go a long way to build confidence.
It’s my guess that children with learning disabilities or children that get bullied in school love staying at home during Covid-19. It’s easy enough to figure out. Staying at home means not having to deal with the angst they feel in the classroom or at lunch recess. At home kids are free of pressures that go along with the school day experience. At home, kids don’t have to compete with their classmates, or feel embarrassed when they can’t answer a math question in front of the entire class. And most importantly children with learning disabilities and children who worry about be bullied don’t have to worry about school, recess or walking home.
So given the circumstances, no matter how difficult they may be, I’d give a medal to those parents that consciously make the effort to uplift their children during these crazy times. This can be done with a word of encouragement, with a supportive smile, by playing a video game together or reading a story. I’m sure you readers can come up with your own list of things to do. It can’t be easy for children of any age to sit at home most of the day and give up their inherent playfulness. I think we should strive to preserve those fun times. Family time with a few hugs might just be the right thing.