We just went to another lock where I live. Different regions see different things – schools closed, restaurants closed, physical distance present. That is hard. It took a long time and the parents are exhausted and frustrated.
We have to feel very upset and stressed out, but at the risk of sounding toxic positive, I want to ponder some things that are good lessons for my family. This doesn’t take away from the many struggles we’ve all faced, but there have been some silver linings and I think it’s okay to take some of these lessons and say thank you for them.
I’ve learned to set better boundaries.
With kids at home working next to me, I’ve learned not to jump in to save them – I don’t drop anything to get them a snack, I don’t hop in and rescue them at the first sign of an academic struggle. and if you have to wait and be patient – so be it. This has been positive on two fronts: I’ve set boundaries that allow me to be more productive, and they have become better problem solvers.
Our family worked better as a team.
My older children out of college were sent home around this time last year when the first lockdown was in place. My youngest child was 10 years old at the time and has a complicated learning profile. I used each of his five older siblings as a trainer for one subject. Lots of hands do easy work. Watching the siblings gather around their little brother was not only extremely helpful when I was trying to get my job done at Mabel’s Labels, but also taught them great lessons about mutual support.
We learned to let go of the little things.
These are difficult times. Kids are probably a little more on screens than we’d like, and we all fight a little more when we share space and WIFI! We order takeaway more often and the house is a bit disastrous. Letting go to take care of it was liberating. Families learn to accept that things don’t have to be perfect – sometimes being okay is good enough!
We slowed down.
I’m used to putting six kids in hockey arenas, dance lessons, and music lessons. Now they play Minecraft and Dungeons and Dragons together, swim and play in the backyard and hike in the canyon. We are much more relaxed and have learned that we don’t all have to do “things” to be happy and active!
Has your family enjoyed silver linings during these crazy times?