As we are all faced with the challenges of a “new normal” with COVID-19 sweeping the nation, I encourage everyone take a moment to try to focus on the positive side of the current situation. We find ourselves forced to slow down and stay inside which presents the opportunity to spend time with our children that we otherwise might not have. Let’s be honest, time goes quickly — too quickly.
My daughter recently celebrated her birthday and it was bittersweet. Watching her grow into an amazing young person full of care and kindness is a privilege, it also is a reminder that she will not be living here for many more years, so I’d better treasure the time I have, which includes the unexpected time we suddenly have on our hands.
I encourage parents to speak with your children about COVID-19 at a level they can relate to and understand. They know it is happening and even if they don’t know all of the details, it is better to give them some information so they don’t feel like they are in the dark and their anxiety spikes. If you need suggestions on the best way to speak with your kids about the current state of our world, the Child Mind Institute has great resources available for parents to cover all aspects of COVID-19.
More importantly, I encourage parents to turn off the news and sit down and play a board game, read a book, or just simply speak with your children about what they are thinking and feeling. Better yet, take a bike ride outside as a family, keeping in mind social distancing, and enjoy the weather and work off some stress. When your children look back on this unprecedented event in history, you want them to remember their parents being there, doing everything possible to enjoy life every day and making special memories during a moment in history that is extremely uncertain. Stay healthy and take care of yourself and your family.