Judy Williams MEd. March 22, 2020
It’s like jumping into a cold pool for many parents, teachers, and students trying desperately to adjust to life these days. Not only are parents faced with a financial challenge they may also be dealing with illness, children at home for an extended time, as well as shortages of items needed for day to day living. As we adjust to the new environment for work, play, and education lets try to remember a few things that may make life a bit easier.
Financial challenges: We are very fortunate to live in a country where the government takes responsibility for its citizens. Right now congress is working on an economic package that is targeted at assisting every American with the money needed to help them get through this time. In this same package small business owners will be supported as well as large corporations. According to our Treasury Secretary this aid package should hopefully be passed as early as Monday, March 23rd 2020.
Illness: During these times of uncertainty we sometimes lose sight of just how much others are struggling with so many life challenges. Yes, we are all concerned about the COVID-19 virus, but there are so many other dealing with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, kidney disease and more. This crisis has made their challenges even more challenging than the average person. When we allow ourselves to panic it leads to other behaviors such as hoarding and lining up for COVID-19 testing out of fear. This puts an unnecessary strain on production, supply, and urgently needed medical care for those who really need it.
Children: We’ve heard it all our lives, kids are resilient…but please remember while they have the remarkable capability to bounce back, they are kids, and kids really need us to be stable right now. If we as adults are panicking imagine what may be going through your kid’s minds. All they are hearing through social media, news sources, and friends are the panic button issues which only leaves them traumatized. Please make time to reassure your kids, yes, all kids. I have received heartbreaking emails from students well into their high school years who are scared and confused at everything going on in their lives right now.
Education: It’s so important to encourage your kids to keep learning. Ask them what they were learning about in History. If no lessons are available from their school watch a documentary on the topic with them. If they can’t remember the topic then choose one. If your school has provided a way for them to continue learning give them some sort of schedule to help them pace themselves at home. Many college students struggle with online learning so imagine what your student feels like to be suddenly thrust into the world of distance education. Email the teachers, trust me, they are monitoring their emails waiting for kids to ask questions! Assure your kids that as long as they try it will be okay. Any attempt is better than no attempt at all.
Work: This is hard. As parents we all want to have a secure future for our families. Trust that this time will pass, try to enjoy your kids. They are the shining light in your life and they need you. If you are in a sudden telecommuting situation set a schedule for yourself, set boundaries for unnecessary interruptions and breathe. Remember to take a break, eat your lunch, and finish your coffee before it gets cold.
Supply shortages: Thankfully stores are starting to draw the line. Trucking companies are working hard to deliver and soon the supply chain will be back to its wonderful self. In the meantime, be mindful, be creative, and try not to let it freak you out.
A final thought on the crisis as a whole, we are all in this together, and there isn’t a better group of citizens I’d rather be with in the whole wide world.