Parenting Through a Pandemic
I have not written a blog post in a couple months because well I guess I have been parenting through a pandemic like the majority of people out there. My anxiety is at an all time high but the connection with my kids are also at an all time high. It has really made my type A adventurous self slow down a lot and be more present. Some days can feel isolating some days can feel magical. It is like one big pandemic roller coaster. There are highs and then lows especially when you are parents. I can say our family is coping pretty well and have been on the lucky side of things. I get the beautiful blessing of staying home and my husband has been amazing at supporting us and working from home. We have all benefited from being closer and our kids are thriving. However, sometimes I find myself sad, grieving and then blessed and thankful all in one day. I also find myself pondering if there is a disconnect among our society and if its driven more by technology or the pandemic? Has the pandemic made us rely more on technology that much more? Is the good for the overall mental health of our society? For our kids?
I am writing this article in hopes it reaches other parents out there who feel the same things, you are absolutely not alone. As parents of littles, I worry about their little minds, their feelings, their emotions regarding the virus. They are so little they can’t articulate things as easily as adults. I worry if we are loving and connecting with them enough or will they be safe at school? However, in the back of my mind I wonder how other parents are coping as well, how teenagers are coping, how college students are coping, and place myself back in time thinking how I would have handle such a thing going through this global pandemic as a teenager or during college when socially that was my life. I can not imagine. We have lost our freedom to simply smile at a stranger because it is covered in a mask, we have lost our safety because the virus is everywhere, we have lost loved ones, my sweet beautiful grandmother gone too soon, I feel like we are living during a plague, trying to survive a battle lost in war. Mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually.
I start thinking how grateful we were to grow up back in the 80’s and 90’s without social media and not as much technology because it allowed us to make meaningful connection and be more present. I love finding old school letters my friends and I use to write. We would fold them up in some unique way and correspond through letter writing. It was the simple things like that who formed me into my love for writing. Fast forward to today there is this things called text messaging, emailing, social media. Have we lost the connection of deep meaningful relationships to fake reality in the world of tik tok, facebook, instagram, twitter? What will it be like for our kids kids? How do we take back our lives, our families lives?
After reading about teenager here in our neighborhood taking his very own Mother’s life, my heart wanted to write. I don’t know the details but I know enough and its heart wrenching. Where did the disconnect happen? What can we do to prevent a mental health crisis within our own neighborhoods, our own communities, within our own walls? Are we so disconnected from ourselves that we cannot see the disconnect within our children? Or is there not enough support? What can we do? I’m not sure anymore if it is the pandemic to blame as much as technology, social media, and iPad and iPhone. We as parents even need to get off the iPhone get off the Netflix and truly deeply connect with each other. As a wife and mother I make sure to connect not with just my husband and each kid every single day but within myself too. Are you truly deeply connected within yourself, within your own walls?? I love the quote by President Lee “The most important work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own home.” This is what it will take to raise a generation that will one day change the world. How can we better love our family and ourselves through this New Year? May we get outside in nature as a family, go on bike rides, hikes, parks, play games, cook together, play sports, learn music instrument, learn a new language, create, if you are already doing this together. GREAT JOB!!! WELL DONE MOM AND DAD!
Connect and Communicate
We need to be asking our kids the hard questions, or the basic ones, or play a game with them, step inside their element and connect, truly connect and communicate with them because you may never know what you will find out or how much they are feeling. Are we connecting and communicating enough? Do we keep giving our an iPad an Xbox and let it babysit and entertain them for us because its easy and everything seem virtual anyway? I know parenting can be exhausting but our kids need us to set these boundaries, they need to know we love them enough not to let these machines ruin them. We are all addicted some how to technology, and I feel like it is causing an emotional and mental void within families. Why is no one talking about this? We wonder why children’s behavior is the way it is. Well, what have they been watching, playing, doing on their computers? Watch the documentary on Netflix when your kids are asleep. The Social Dilemma. Its frightening. We have to start setting hard and more firm boundaries, myself included, you included. Balance. Finding balance and stopping this madness and feeding our souls other ways. Technology is not the answer for our kids.
No Technology Days
Today I told almost 4 and 5 year old they were to have no iPad, tv, or screen time and their play was imaginative, creative, playful, happy. I am writing this post write now as they are entertaining themselves creating a pirate ship out of a box. This would not have been the case if we just let them watch their iPad all day. We as parents have to take charge of our families more so now then ever. What will happen if you take away technology for a day? Give it a try. Let me know please. Its magical. I notice a big change in behavior when mine watch too much tv or numb to the world on technology. It simply takes their joy. Set those boundaries and connect more, love more, hug more, smile more, laugh more. Do not let this pandemic nor technology take your families joy away. Take charge. Keep your families protected and this is how we as parents can pervade, this is how we will start to see a change within our very own communities. It is quite simple. It starts at home within our very own walls. Who is with me?