Flip the Lens: Magical Moments Hidden Beneath These Stressful Times

Despite the Stress and Worry, Try to Focus on Opportunity

We all worry when we face uncertain times.  That is more true today than ever, as our daily lives have changed due to the coronavirus.  We are concerned about our family’s health, mental well-being, and what the future will hold.  Amidst these concerns and the unprecedented worldwide situation which we are figuring out hour by hour, I am awed by the thought that this is potentially a meaningful time for children’s memory-making.

Even with our added stress these days, we have a unique opportunity to create strong, positive memories for our children. While being home with children for weeks on end can be exhausting, overwhelming, and even frustrating, this time together as a family can result in new connections and positive experiences. Let’s focus on encouraging imagination, creativity, and play skills – for them and for each other.

Most young children won’t remember details about the virus.  They will remember how we made them feel and how we engaged them.

While young children need consistency and routines, give yourself permission to also be spontaneous and playful with them.   It will be good for you and for them – and help relieve stress.

Family Time Can Create Lasting Positive Memories

Years from now when your children look back at this unusual time in their lives, they will likely hold onto the funny, creative experiences they had and the special time they spent with you….

  • “Remember that time when school was closed for SO long, and we had so much energy at home, and then you got annoyed, and then we all started laughing together, and it was hilarious?”  An indelible happy memory.
  • “Remember that time when we went on walks each day and we waved to neighbors we usually didn’t see? Yeah, that was kind of neat. Oh, that’s when I realized so-and-so lived so close to   us!”  Everyone is affected, humanity is one.
  • “Remember that time when we were kids and we made up a new language? It seemed like you didn’t like it, but we had a blast and it was so funny.”  Sibling connection.
  • “Remember when it rained a lot one week when we had to stay home? You let us do things we usually didn’t do.  We put a blanket on the floor and had an indoor picnic.  And you let us make  a cool obstacle course inside.  That was so fun!”  Bringing outdoor fun inside and permitting things that are usually not allowed but still safe.
  • “Remember when we went for a walk down the street and saw a family with little kids on their porch? One girl had a frisbee on her head.  She and her brother made up a game of running   from one side of the yard to the other, trying to keep the frisbee on their head.”  Boredom can lead to creativity and innovation.
  • “Remember when our whole family decided to only move like a certain animal for as long as we could that day?  You flapped wings like a bird, my brother slithered like a snake, and I hopped like a bunny. That was hard… but hilarious!”  The power of silly family time.

Perspectives Will Differ; Hold onto Hope!

I know every person has a different concern, a different perspective, and a different situation.  Different sets of coping mechanisms, different types of support networks.

I just hope we can all find a positive angle, maybe just one each day, to shift our worldview or our own use of time, connections, and resources.  Maybe this is a chance to change the world for the better!

Carry on, friends. Be well and I wish health and safety for all of you.


About Our Guest Blogger

Lisa has been in the field of early childhood for about 15 years, working with children 8 years and younger in Richmond, VA, Washington, DC, and Boston, MA. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, a master’s degree of Early Childhood Education (PreK-2) from Lesley University, and a Post Master’s Certificate in Early Childhood Practice, Policy, and Research from University of Massachusetts in Boston.  Currently she works at the Weinstein Jewish Community Center in Richmond, VA as the Early Childhood Curriculum & Professional Development Director.  She is aunt to four fantastic nephews and one incredible niece.

Helping Children Cope with a Storm

Big storms like hurricanes can be alarming for children.  Adult awareness and support can help children handle  feeling nervous or worried, and get ready to cope with the storm.

Best Ways For Adults To Help Children Cope With A Storm

Watching the Storm
Waiting for the storm

Stay Calm.  Children take cues from adult behaviors and attitudes.  Even if you feel worried, prepare as much as you can, and then stay calm.

Be aware of the storm broadcasts.  Hyped up news reports may increase children’s sense of alarm.  Keep the volume low and engage children in other activities.

Let children know it is okay to feel worried or scared.  Many children don’t like storms and feel afraid. Remind them that you will take care of them. [ more ]

Playtime Matters: Are Some Kinds Of Play Better Than Others?

Put the Play Back Into Playtime

“Get back in the game, buddy!” calls out a dedicated dad when he sees his 4-year old athlete poking twigs in the ground to make a stick house.

Hmmm.   Two kinds of play here.  Soccer and imaginary twig towns.

Remember “Just Playing?”

Today’s young children certainly play more soccer and t-ball.  They jump on bouncers, flap parachutes and scarves together, and clamber through ballpits in “play places.”  Our children master video games created just for them and many maneuver a smart phone better than adults!  There are fewer twig towns out there these days.

Playing in hay bale houses - interesting!
Playing in hay bale houses – interesting!


Do children play the same way today as we did when we were kids? [ more ]