Limiting close face-to-face contact with others is the best way to reduce the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We all know that, it’s been drilled into our brains for the past four months.
But how have you all explained that to your children and how have you asked them to confine to home during this crisis? How has your relationship with them changed during these months in lockdown? How have you supported them emotionally through all of this, while trying to support yourself?
For all children and at any age, friends are hugely important, and they are supposed to be — creating bonds with them is an essential developmental stage. During this time, our children have been feeling so much anxiety over not being able to connect. It’s been so sad to see them struggle… I’m sure you can relate. Despite the long talks, it has been extremely hard to make them understand and, most of all, to help them fill that void.
Not only that, it has also been overwhelming to continue our healthy habits, to ask them to do school work remotely, maintain our bedtime and mealtime routines… We have tried to keep structures the same and we have failed miserably.
We have been on long walks and bike rides. We’ve played basketball, board games, family video games… We’ve built puzzles, painted rocks and baked cookies. We’ve watched family friendly movies even tried to started watching a show together (although that never prospered). We also waited to go back to school and then, when we didn’t, waited for the weather to change so we could begin to use our pool in the back patio and our old barbecue.
And there has been A LOT of fortnite. And You Tube. And Tik Tok.
Throughout all of this, we have also argued, yelled at each other, and cried. We’ve had our share of slamming doors and name calling. We’ve laughed, hugged, apologized, and started all over again.
In sum, we have been cooped up with our children for what seems (and really hasn’t been) a very long time. It’s been stressful and sometimes unbearable for all us but especially them. However, they have been strangely resilient. And less surprisingly, we are still here, still loving each other despite the stress and still building on what holds us together.
We really do not know what the following months will bring but, most probably, more of the above. And definitely more online learning. How are they – WE – going to face it, knowing what we’ve all been through? I also don’t have an answer; we still have a great challenge ahead of us. One thing is certain, though: we will try our best to plough on as we’ve done already and, in our specific family, try to focus on teaching and practicing the patience to continue and the kindness to overcome it with grace.
I would love to know how it has been for your children and how you plan on living the months ahead. In the meantime, please stay safe.