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.