In life, I understand that self-protection is always our default. It’s how we are wired. However, I believe this pandemic experience is a massive experiment in our abilities to surrender and accept being vulnerable.
In the last week, while concern about the Corona Virus has increased, it has been interesting to observe the behaviors and/or the words of others. The ways people are handling this time of scarcity, uncertainty, and isolation is from a place of fear. Rightfully so. I know it is hard to feel alone in your struggle and fear. I know the pain of feeling isolated and the pain of a special occasions going other than planned.
As a special-needs mom, and a teacher, I have become exceptional at accepting uncertainty. This is not the first time that I’ve been told we’re going to have to do something that feels nearly impossible. It is not the first time that I’ve had no guarantees on the outcome that I tirelessly pray for. I’ve learned to surrender to what is and not waste time and energy putting up resistance. In the end, we can only change what we can control.
With that being said, while this period of time in our life is hard, we NEED to dig deep. My greatest push to remain calm is my children. I know they are watching and learning about how to respond to stress and uncertainty. I want to wire them for resilience, not panic. Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly and persevere. So, while this situation sucks for ALL; we have to pick back up. We are all grieving the loss of something at this time. Let’s show empathy with the array of experiences because our perspectives are based on what is in front of us at the given time.
The Corona virus is affecting us all in some way- whether directly or indirectly. Lets remember…
*People who are extremely worried about their older family members
*Those that are already sick w/ the virus
*Those that are immunocompromised
*Kids that miss their friends at school
*Families that don’t have food
*Those w/ asthma or other pre-existing conditions
*Small Business owners struggling to earn an income
*Parents trying to manage working & their own kids school work all day
*HS Seniors w/out proms and graduations
*Any student at the graduating level of schooling
*Health care workers on the front line
*Teachers missing their students
*Athletes that lost their final season of sports
Some suggestions for parents…
*Home schooling is a new thing for most of us. Many of us are trying to work from home while tending to our children and making sure they stay up to date on their school work. There are many plates that we are trying to keep up in the air. Rather than setting academic goals every day focus on spending extra time just being together with no expectations. There will be a time to resume school work. But accept that it may not be now because without emotional regulation, children can’t learn.
*Let them experience boredom. Every minute does not need to be accounted for. Remember just as we can come out of our skin at times, they will too. They will spend hours complaining before they settle into that strange place that’s rarely visited by today’s children – their imagination. We don’t need to entertain them, we need to model for them. Boredom is sacred. We shouldn’t deny our children this experience.
*Never forget that your little family is the best team you could ever have. Lean on each other and soak in this precious time that you have been given to reconnect.
Some suggestions for teachers…
*Breathe. The space that you educate from doesn’t need to be the classroom. Lead with your heart. The students will feel that no matter what curriculum you throw at them. Make this new space one that the kids look forward to showing up for. Let them release the crushing weight of what is going on. You are the guardian of this new space. Make it count. Find a way to make this experience memorable for them in a positive way.
As we move forward let's give each other grace. And don't forget to give yourself some. Just know that, if you are struggling in anyway during this quarantine, I am here. I’ll be connecting online and you are welcome to join me at any point. The space will be safe and exactly what you need. Just click the link below.
Stay safe. Stay well. Stay connected