With stay at home orders still in place in many areas and school plans up in the air, there is a lot of talk about how the current generation of kids will be affected.
Will remote learning cause them to fall behind academically?
Will lockdowns stunt their social development?
Will the kids be alright?
There is so much focus on the negatives…but that’s only part of the story.
What if we change the narrative?
What if this generation of children isn’t falling behind at all…
…what if they’re actually going to come out ahead from all of this?
With restaurants closed, family dinner is the new norm again.
Families are sitting down around the table for home-cooked food and meaningful conversation. These family dinners are powerful for kids, everything from improving vocabulary and social skills to creating healthy eating habits.
There is a resurgence in “lost arts” such as gardening, pickling, and canning.
Kids are learning where their food comes from, how to grow their own veggies, and increasing self-reliance. Skills that were becoming increasingly lost to time and modern technology are being passed down to a new generation and preserved for future generations to come.
Zoom calls have brought extended families closer together.
Despite distance, kids are getting to know their cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents better than ever before. Family members that they previously went years without seeing are now familiar faces.
We are blessed with the technology to speak to our loved ones in person, no matter where we are. Our children are growing roots in their family tree.
Families are spending more time outdoors and getting active.
Movie theaters and bowling alleys are closed. Swimming pools might be closed. But nature is still OPEN!
Being outdoors is good for the mind, body, and soul and kids will reap these benefits long after things return to normal.
Kids are growing closer to their siblings.
With fewer opportunities to visit friends, families are spending more time at home and with each other. Sibling bonds will only be stronger because of it!
Being on a budget teaches kids the value of money.
I don’t know about you, but my kids are always asking for something — the latest toy they saw on TV or ice cream or a video game…and on and on.
This lockdown has forced many families (ours included) to be extremely conscious of our spending, and that is a good thing! Not only for us, but our kids can learn about money from watching us making grocery lists and meal plans.
It’s ok to tell kids no, explain why, and teach them that sometimes we don’t always get what we want exactly when we want it. They will have better money habits as adults because of it.
Learning is no longer regulated to the classroom — kids are learning everywhere!
Remote learning pushed us to get creative with how to teach kids. We found practical ways to teach skills, such as learning measurements through baking.
Our kids are getting a chance to learn in non-traditional ways. It’s not wasted time.
Kids are getting creative with what they have.
Who needs a playground when you’ve got cardboard boxes?! And I know we all have been getting lots more package deliveries than ever before these days! Kids don’t need fancy toys or trips to have fun. Sometimes less is more and it encourages their imagination.
Distance learning has made kids more technologically savvy.
Remote learning might not be ideal for every family, but some kids have thrived with this framework. Working with technology is an education in itself and because of this experience, our kids will create inventions and new technology that will make our world a better place.
Kids are learning to be where they are.
Our society is a busy one. Before lockdowns, our family was always go, go go! School drop-offs and pickups. After school activities. Sports. Doctor’s appointments. Trips to the store. The mall. Running errands every day.
Being on the go all the time doesn’t give kids a chance to relax. They’re always on the move and never get to enjoy being in one place or just being at home.
Staying home can be good for kids. They learn to enjoy their surroundings. They have time to enjoy simple pleasures, like reading a book.
Our kids are the most stressed-out generation. There is an explosion of mental illness, drug use, school shootings. Our kids need a break. They need a chance to just be kids.
This shared experience teaches our kids empathy.
There is so much going on in the world that is tough. A global pandemic. Racial injustice. Economic struggles. No matter who you are or where you are, life has changed in some way.
The shared struggle of these lockdowns is something that everyone is in together — kids included. We are all affected.
We can’t hide all the bad from our kids. They need to see what others experience. It’s ok to learn that there are bad things in the world. How can we fix things if we don’t know there is a problem?
Our kids are going to make the world a better place. They are going to right our generation’s wrongs.
Our kids will have good memories of this time together as family.
Instead of looking outside for entertainment, we’re staying in and with each other. Family movie nights and family game nights are the new weekend thrill.
Looking back on this time, kids are not so likely to focus on little things that they missed out on. Years down the road, they’re not going to care that they didn’t get to go to the movie theater for a while. Or the mall.
As grown-ups, kids are going to look back on lockdowns and think: “That was when we got to spend a lot of time with mom and dad. We had movies nights and played Monopoly. We built a fort in the living room with boxes and blankets. That was a special time and I’m so glad we had that.”
We can create a sanctuary for our kids
This pandemic is far harder on us parents than it is on our children. That’s not to say it’s always easy for kids, but kids are resilient.
Kids follow our lead and our example. If we’re stressed out and complaining about being “stuck at home” all the time, that’s what they’ll absorb and repeat.
I know it’s hard.
I haven’t seen my own mom for four months. I worry about family and friends who have gotten sick or have been exposed to the virus. I worry about what will happen to my friends who are teachers, if we re-open schools too soon. I pray for my the safety of my friends who are doctors, in over-crowded hospitals.
But at home, I can create a sanctuary for my family.
I can embrace this time at home with my kids.
And THAT is what they will remember.
That will have a more powerful effect on them than any of the negatives.
The kids will be ok.
They might even be better than “just ok.”
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