This year hasn’t just affected us, adults, as we were laid off work and watched the world shut down because of the pandemic known as COVID-19. Watching the whole world change before our eyes and nothing that we can do about it. It has also greatly impacted the lives of our children. Suddenly becoming a homeschool parent was hard and quite stressful, no doubt. Teachers didn’t even have time to prepare lesson plans because of the sudden pandemic. It’s chaos all around. But put yourself in the kid’s shoes. Which brings me to our kids-2020.
Seniors in high school didn’t get to finish out their sports. They prepared all year long, or several years, giving their best effort to hopefully get scouted and accepted onto college teams. They didn’t get to dress up and go to their senior prom. Many seniors didn’t even get to have official graduation. The high schools in my area had a small ceremony that allowed no more than four guests per student. And the entire ceremony was different of course, because of social distancing.
These kids didn’t get to see their friends and hang out with them or go to the movies or out to eat. Normal kid activities. They didn’t get to work side jobs to earn extra cash for their hobbies and wants or to learn about responsibility in the real world. So many things that our young people didn’t get to experience. We know how our emotions have felt these past few months. Imagine how kids and teenagers feel about everything. To be so young and have the world ahead of you, for something like this crisis to come crashing down. It can be really terrifying.
Staying at home- the new norm for our kids-2020
Younger children have to become accustomed to staying at home and not getting to go to the park or have playdates. No more field trips or visits to the amusement park or arcade. Not even a trip to the library to find some new books. It’s hard on our kids. If you have children, especially school-aged, let them know how amazing they are. They have overcome so much in these past few months that none of us could have ever dreamed that we would have to even experience. And they are all making it through as young kids and teens, unexperienced in life but trying to go on and adapt. As we all are.
These kids have still continued to try their best, complete their schoolwork at home (even with having bad, inexperienced teachers) and come out on top. They had to adapt and figure out how to manage all of their schoolwork online and become accustomed to being stuck at home day in and day out. We owe it to our children to show how amazing and appreciated they are. As many bad and disappointing things that have happened so far this year, they should know they are truly awesome and that they will be just fine. I can’t imagine how I would have felt if this was all happening during my childhood. I suppose that I would be terrified and anxious about everything. Sad and alone since I suddenly can’t see my friends or family. I would be very confused and upset.
I’m a mother of three kids and the past few months have been tough on us all. Not being able to leave the house, not even to go to Walmart, they just don’t understand. It’s a huge learning curve for us and especially for our children. They have experienced one of the toughest and scariest things that can be imagined during childhood.
Normally we would be planning our summer vacation right about now. But it’s hard to do that when we don’t even know how the next few months will play out. We don’t even know if/how this school year will work out. More at home online schoolwork or will the students actually be back at school? It’s up in the air right now. It’s hard to keep ourselves and our kids optimistic and upbeat when so many things have suddenly changed and been taken away. I’m a planner and all of this is hard considering there are not many things that I can plan for right now. Birthday parties, vacations, even school. It’s crazy.
Things are finally starting to open back up now and it feels like we are (slowly) on the right track to recovering from this mess. However, this is still a scary and unknown time. Remember to hug your kids tight and let them know how amazing they are each and every day. These past few months have affected us greatly, but ultimately it has affected our kids. Take the time to check-in and actually talk to your kids. See how they are feeling and try to plan family activities that you can do together at home so that they don’t start to feel alone. Movie night, game night or a bonfire with smores are great options. Just something different and fun to break up the new (temporary) normal.
2020 has been a rough year thus far for everyone. But I strongly believe that better days are coming our way. We have to stick together, try our best, and always be there for our kids. Remember that kids pick up on your feelings, so when you’re feeling stressed and anxious trying to find something that helps with that. Talk to a family member, read a new book, binge a new show. There are so many things that we can do to take our minds off of things these days. Being productive is one of the best things that you can do during this time and that is something good that your kids can pick up on from you. Stay positive- better things are on their way.