As a therapist who works with both children and adults, numerous clients have expressed concern that their children are suffering due to the current school situation as well as COVID19 life restrictions. Although these concerns are valid, and I share them both as a therapist and a parent, there is one thing we all have to remember – OUR KIDS HAVE LIVED THROUGH A PANDEMIC! This is huge, and not something many can say they experienced as a child. The life lessons our kids have learned during this time will have a far greater impact on them than we can possibly imagine. Here are just a few that come to mind:
Family Unity. Our families have spent a lot more time together since this pandemic with quarantines, distance learning and distance working. We have needed to work together more, be creative in our use of time and space, communicate better.
Resources. Children who once essentially had all of their physical needs met without even thinking about it, came to realize how fortunate they have been as we managed the limitations of schooling, food, medical and household supplies.
Problem Solving and Independence. Again, our kids have had it pretty easy. They attended school and had a staff of devoted teachers and school personnel to support them through any challenges they experienced. When the pandemic struck and schooling moved to online, they had to begin managing many of these things on their own via online resources. Kids needed to be more independent and responsible.
Support and Thankfulness. Remember the early days of the pandemic, when healthcare and essential workers were celebrated and supported, when people decorated their driveways with chalk to encourage those in the neighborhood who would walk by, when people were leaving treats out to thank the delivery people? Your kids remember this too. And they saw the good in those around them.
As we have hit the one year mark of this pandemic, instead of focusing on what our kids have lost this past year, let’s think about what they have gained, and continue to build upon it. Let’s help them to keep being thankful, resourceful, and connected. One day they will say, “When I was a child and the COVID19 pandemic was going on…” and we just may hear some of the things above mentioned.
Heather Martin, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker with Counsel Connections and has over 25 years experience in the therapy field. She encourages us all to be thankful every day.