What if instead of behind these kids are ahead?
FRIDAY THE 13TH DAY OF MARCH, 2020:
I picked my children up from school. Their teachers sent us away with packets of worksheets and hesitant smiles. No one knew if and when we would meet again.
As the weeks went on, we listened more and more and we understood less and less. I scanned the media, and listened to friends, and heard so much angst and worry that these kids would suffer academically because of the missed days of school.
Admittedly, I am an optimist. The silver lining is my specialty. Yes, these “Corona Kids” are going to miss months in the classroom and other activities when all is told. But there is so much more to the growth development, and nurture of a child than the magic and amazement that happens in school.
This post, this poem that came straight from my heart has gone around the world and back. It has inspired so many that there is so much more to life than the normal we were used to. Learning may not look the same, but we are destined to learn something new each day that we live.
I am not too priviliege to realize that there are some that time at home will not bring advantage.
Too many do not have a roof over their head or a family to love them. I know that some children do not have adequate food outside of the school meal program.
For some trauma, abuse, and diagnoses are first and/or only discovered and addressed by an educational professional. I am in no way minimizing the tragedy of that. That is not to whom I address these sentiments.
Speaking to those who can choose
I am speaking to those who actually have it pretty good. If we peel away the fear and anxiety (which are founded and very real) and take some time to practice gratitude. Then turn our energies toward discovering the benefits in a very profoundly tricky time, we can choose to see the opportunities this may bring us – if we chose to.
What if instead of “behind” this group of kids is advanced because of this?
Let’s talk about helping our kids during social distancing.
Hear me out.
What if they have more empathy, they enjoy family connection, they can be more creative and entertain themselves, they love to read, they love to express themselves in writing.
What if they enjoy the simple things, like their own backyard and sitting near a window in the quiet. What if they notice the birds and the dates the different flowers emerge, and the calming renewal of a gentle rain shower?
What if this generation is the ones to learn to cook, organize their space, do their laundry, and keep a well-run home?
Helping Our Kids During Social Distancing
What if they learn to stretch a dollar and to live with less? What if they learn to plan shopping trips and meals at home.
What if they learn the difference between want and need?
What if they learn the value of eating together as a family and finding the good to share in the small delights of the everyday?
What if they are the ones to place great value on our teachers and educational professionals, librarians, public servants and the previously invisible essential support workers like truck drivers, grocers, cashiers, custodians, logistics, and health care workers and their supporting staff, just to name a few of the millions taking care of us right now while we are sheltered in place? (See my post about Acts of Kindness.)
What if among these children, a great leader emerges who had the benefit of a slower pace and a simpler life. What if he or she truly learns what really matters in this life?
Let’s talk about helping our kids during social distancing.
What if they are ahead?
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Dream Come True?
Has every dream here I mused in this poem come true? Absolutely not, but my desire was and is to move our energy away from the worst-case scenario and toward the best, even if it is far-fetched. I am privileged to dream.
Is it really that simple?
I want to be clear, reading, writing, and math skills are essential. I have advanced degrees and so does my husband. We want our children to do well in school and get a great education.
What if we equipped our children with the skills and tools to cope with a busy chaotic world? Let’s think of fresh, new ways of parenting our children to be healthy adults someday and happy children now
I also submit, before a child can learn properly, he has to feel safe, feel attached to a loving caregiver, master his body, cope emotionally, navigate socially, and be as physically and mentally healthy as possible. Depression, anxiety, suicide, and general unhappiness to far too common and I think there is room for improvement. Do you disagree?.
Thank you for joining me for this time of reflection. What have you learned during this time?
I have to admit, it has not all been easy. I have had many of the same stressors as you and maybe some unique ones also and not everything has been just as idyllic and as I dreamed.
Some have come against me with criticism that I must be so privileged to dream as I do. I do not have the best of everything, but I do my best to make the best of everything. Like I stated above, my desire was and is to move our energy away from the worst-case scenario and toward the best, even if it is far-fetched. I am privileged to dream.
Everyone has the privilege to dream.
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About the author, Jaime
Here at Altogether Mostly, you will find grace, compassion, joy, and beauty. I use empathy and a little tough love to bring out the best in people. I live in the Midwest United States with my loving husband and awesome children. For more about me and Altogether Mostly, please visit my about page here.