I know that we didn’t sign up for this shelter in place mandate. I know we all feel woefully unprepared for what the days ahead hold for us. I know many of us aren’t teachers. Many of us are scrambling to do our regular jobs. Many are worried about what this means for our paychecks and some their 401K and retirement packages. I know the news seems bleak and everyday brings another element of negativity and fear to our plates. I know it because I’m living it with you. But please I have some advice as I listen to your children.
They are scared. They’re scared because they hear you talking about it. They’re scared because you’re scared. They’re scared because their lives are just as much upside down as yours are right now. Please talk to your child. Let them know the truth of what’s going on. Don’t use big words. Don’t use scary words. Remind them that things will be ok. Let them know that we will make it through this together.
Two different things are happening. Some parents are only talking about this at home while other parents are hiding all of the facts. Talk about the problem. Don’t hide the elephant in the room. Let your child know that some people are getting sick but not everyone who gets sick is really having trouble. Let them know what you’re doing to prevent yourself and your family from getting it. Tell them how they can prevent themselves from getting it. Explain what social distancing is. Teach them how to wash their hands.
Now that you have become a home school parent take time to teach your child. Teach them the things they need to know in their homework packets. Ask their teachers if you need help teaching these things. Your child’s teachers are there for you. They are working long and hard hours to make sure your child can continue to learn. But also teach them other things that they will need to know some day. Depending on their age, teach them to wash dishes and do laundry. Teach them to do math by having them help you cook supper. Walk with them through meal planning. Teach them how to spend money correctly.
Take on some of those projects you wanted to do but never had the time but do it with your children. Clean and organize the garage. Sort clothes you won’t wear anymore. Build shelves in your basement. Make an emergency preparedness plan and kit. All sorts of things are possible!
Lending a helping hand is always in style! You never know who around you needs a little assistance. Does someone need a grocery run? Does someone need some outdoor work done at their house? Can you be a good neighbor and drop off a handmade card to someone who can’t get out of their house? Find a way to serve someone in this extended time off.
Finally, take time to read together. There are family devotions that are free for your use. Check out this link if you’d like some free resources. You can also find a great show to binge as a family. These are all ways you can spend some time together as a family and make the most of these days.
Most of all be mindful of the children you meet. They are going through the same things you are and don’t have the coping strategies you’ve learned. Be well my friends! Hang in there. We’ll make it through!