Parents Reflect on What They've Learned From a Year of Sheltering In Place
In our April 24 parent discussion group, participants shared how profoundly they’ve been affected by the events of the past year – sheltering in place, distance learning, working from home, COVID mitigations, and for some, the loss of loved ones or friends. They’ve felt isolated; they’ve feared for their children’s well-being.
But during the course of the conversation, it emerged that the pandemic has also yielded valuable life lessons for some, lessons that will remain with them when life returns to normal:
Slow down, enjoy the moment, smell the flowers (literally!). People are enjoying being home. Home-improvement projects, gardening, and spending time with family have become higher priorities.
Parents are valuing just having time with their children to talk, explore topics, and learn together, rather than focusing on achieving some goal.
It’s fine to just be. Just because we aren’t busily accomplishing some task that has a specific outcome or product doesn’t mean we’re wasting time or being unproductive. We don’t need to feel guilty about saying no to a request to do something if we just want or need to hang out, enjoy time with family, or just read a book or watch a movie.
“We are human beings, not human doings.” - John Bradshaw
Having less pressure to achieve and keep a schedule coupled with a greater need to manage stress has led to being more attuned to our own needs in the moment – listening to our body, being more able to adopt a growth mindset, relishing learning and growth rather than focusing just on mastery and achievement.
Some of our preconceived ideas about parenting, screen time, and TV have changed. There’s some really good programming that’s educational and thought provoking for children and adults.
Connections are critical. Feeling a part of a community and knowing you aren't alone makes all the difference in the world.
Are there lessons you’ve learned from a year of coping with COVID? Please see our corresponding posts on our Instagram or Facebook and leave a note in the comments. You can also email them to us: firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll share your input with other parents in a future Wednesday Messages. (We don’t publish the names of social media contributors.)
(The April 24 parent group was the last one in the series. Be watching for news
about our new monthly online parent gatherings.)