Amongst the chaos and difficulties surrounding us these days, we must not forget how much our little ones are affected by all of the changes before us. They are sad - missing their friends, their teachers, their routines, their extracurricular activities, their extended family, their play dates, social outings etc. And they are scared. Scared of how this virus could hurt them or someone they love and scared of how it has so quickly shut down life all around them.
They need us to be their calm and their security. They need us to answer their hard questions, be compassionate and to lend a little more grace when they act out. They also depend on us to shape the way they view the current circumstances. So many of us are feeling overwhelmed, vulnerable, stressed, sad, fearful and uncertain. But we must be careful not to project that on our children. There is so much we can’t control but we CAN do our best to make the most of where we are. We CAN choose to take steps to alleviate our own stress (by prioritizing exercise, sleep, and limiting our media intake). We CAN choose to do things to bring happiness to our homes.
In our home, prayer is a huge comfort to all of us. We know we can tell all our fears and uncertainties to God and ask for His love, peace, and protection to help us through. We focus on the things we have to look forward to each day instead of wondering how we are going to go on for weeks and weeks without hugging or seeing the people we love. I keep reminding my girls to think of all the good we have to be grateful for TODAY. And all the things we are getting to do together that we never had time to do before. We get creative and we plan fun things to look forward to.
We know that quality time is the greatest gift we can ever give our kids. So instead of seeing it as an inconvenience that they aren’t in school, let’s try to see it as an opportunity. Yes, this is hard! And as a nation, we are ALL struggling in some way. We have all had to give up pieces of our lives that we love. But let’s not lose sight of what we have gained. Perhaps during this period of social distancing we can grow as individuals, invest more time with our family, and become more closely connected with the ones we love most, remembering these are also the ones who need us most.