(Inside: The coronavirus and kids – this is what your children are learning. I hope this pandemic shapes my kids in these six powerful ways.)
I saw a meme that said something like this: This coronavirus pandemic is going to be our kids’ we-walked-uphill-both-ways-during-rain-to-school story they tell their kids.
I think this moment is bigger than that.
Never before have historic events unfolded in this way – we are living what will be discussed in future history classes.
A Century of Experience
“How are you?” I asked my 98.5yo grandma. Her voice came through my phone, “Not only are visitors not allowed at our assisted living facility but we are all quarantined in our room. The staff told me a lot of people are feeling depressed.”
A pregnant pause filled the airwaves.
But my grandma continued, “However…I’m watching on the news how everyone is working so well together to combat this virus…”
She went on to highlight the silver linings of this pandemic: companies switching gears to make medical supplies, everyday heroes working overtime (grocery stores, truck drivers), medical staff being brilliant, community leaders making smart decisions…
“Think of how this is making us stronger,” she mused.
I love my grandma’s ability to focus on what’s going right. I love her grit, energy and growth mindset.
My grandma is one of the most amazing people I know. She rode horseback to a one-room school in rural North Dakota. (I’ll see your walk-both-ways-uphill and raise you a horse.) She married my grandfather and then said pretty much immediately goodbye as he left for WWII. She’s started a business, raised three kids, and nursed my ill grandfather until he passed away leaving her widowed at a relatively young age. My grandma’s seen beauty rise from ashes over and over again in her almost-a-century-long life.
Six powerful ways our kids are being shaped by the coronavirus
“Yes, this is making us stronger” is what I thought about long after we hung up. As these safer-at-home days flip past, I’m noticing the good ways in which this pandemic is transforming us all. I’m specifically noticing these six powerful ways that it’s shaping my kids and I hope these lessons stick:
Joy is found in the simple
My sons jumped on the tramp while I shot pictures. Big laughs. Hearts full. Yes, Disney and sandy beaches are special, but a secret to an amazing life is to notice the sunshine, the trees, and each other. We’ve had so many moments like this one. I hope my kids always pause to embrace life’s simple, soul-filling joys.
Related article: 146+ Best Chapter Books for Tweens that will also Build Character
Everyone has a civic duty to their community
The only way for us to be victorious in this experience is to work together. Everyone needs to social distance. The essential workers need to go to work; quality daycare needs to be provided. The WWII generation acutely understood civic duty, and now our kids are experiencing that they too are important members of society.
Be kind to family
We’re stuck together for weeks on end, so my family is responsible for creating the atmosphere they want to live in. Give grace, speak kindly, and – if you love your mom at all – pick up after yourself. I hope this quarantine is teaching my kids to love their family well.
Eat yo’ crust
My son said to me, “I’m still hungry.” I looked at the two giant pieces of pizza crust and said, “Finish your food.” I wasn’t going to the store anytime soon and he knew it. I hope my kids are learning to see food as a little more sacred and eat their crusts.
Related article: Best Home Exercises for QuaranTEENS and TWEENS
When in doubt, pray
I’ve lost sleep over this thought: how can a virus bring our entire world to its knees? I don’t know what else to do, so I pray. Often. And through it I feel God nurture me, comfort me, and change my perspective. I hope my kids learn that when in doubt, look up – God will find them.
To be thankful
But most of all, when this veil is lifted, I hope my kids learn to not take things for granted. They GET to spend their days at awesome schools. They GET to gather in church with our faith family. They GET to play sports with parents and grandparents cheering them all. I hope my kids walk away from this experience with more gratitude pulsing through their hearts.
Through this experience, I hope my kids are shaped into stronger, wiser people. I hope they become a little more like their beloved and amazing great-grandma.
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Cheryl is a mom of 3 boys, wife, speaker, high school teacher, and author of Empowered Moms & Kids. She has a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and is passionate about learning and teaching. On www.empoweredmomsandkids.com you’ll find inspiration and encouragement for moms raising tweens and/or teens. Read more in the “about” section of this page.