Friday, May 1, 2020

Parents: Your Children are Taking Notes

I cannot write a post today, without thinking of the millions of people affected by Covid-19 and the ramifications from this pandemic.  Parents who are juggling online work, parents who are out of work, parents who are being called upon to become sole teacher, coach, cook, and care giver to children at home.  Parents who are worried about paying their bills and making ends meet in the face of the economic downturn.  Parents who are isolated from their normal support system--friends, family, grandparents, teachers, and religious leaders. And the true heroes--parents who are and have been on the frontlines, continuing to work for all of us and return home to children with worry in their hearts about bringing the dreaded illness into their own homes and back to their own family members.

These days have not been easy.  The past month and a half has changed our lives and turned our normal routines upside down.  So what is the message for parents who are dealing with all of these hardships?

Remember your children are watching.  During times of stress and disappointment: your children are watching.  When you feel and anger, fear and helplessness: your children are watching.  When you take your stress out on your husband, wife or neighbor: your children are watching.

But they also are watching when you stay positive.  When you wake up with a smile on your face.  When you help them to carry on when they are struggling.  When you make a plan and stick to it. 

Children get their cues on how to behave from you.  So if you are stressed, overwrought, angry or depressed, you can expect the same from them.  This can be your finest hour of parenting or your worst.  The choice is yours.

During times of difficulty, choose to rise above the situation.  Choose to be the parent who can smile in the face of adversity.  Choose to be the neighbor who is reaching out to comfort others.  Choose to lend a hand, or a meal or a kind word to those who have more struggles than you.  Choose to be the person who creates a feeling of warmth and calm in the midst of frustration and chaos.

You will be teaching your children such a POWERFUL message.  Everything will be fine.  Everything will eventually be normal again. And while things are not how you would like them to be, you are able to choose to make the best of it--for you, for your family, for your neighbors, for your community, and for our future!
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