“How are you doing?” It’s a question being asked frequently these days. A well-meaning gesture, but for some it’s becoming increasingly difficult to answer with much enthusiasm. Concerns about lost wages, educating our children from home, and the lingering unknowns about COVID-19 are continuing to hang over us. But, like sun through an open louver (see what we did there), we are starting to see glimmers of hope shining in. The number of new cases is flattening in the most highly affected areas, thanks to the many sacrifices being made by all. More of us than ever before know how to make a Zoom call. And we’ve been learning new ways to optimize our homes, inside and out.
It doesn’t mean that some days won’t still be a struggle, which is why medical professionals are reminding us to choose a healthy diet, get some type of daily exercise, and to go outside for a minimum of 10 minutes per day. For those still facing hard-to-see-the-bright-side days, we have another (non-medical) suggestion. Talk to a child. That’s right, ask a kid—it doesn’t have to be your own—what he or she likes about being at home and having family members around 24/7. Kids may not have the same pressures as adults, but they have been cut off from friends and familiar schedule too.
We asked some of our favorite kids what the best part of sheltering at home has been, and we think they may be onto something.
- “I get to play with my sisters ALL DAY!” – Melanie, age 6
- “We play lots of games, and I ride my bike a lot, and my mommy gets to teach me!” – Kyle, age 6
- “We get to start any project that takes a long time and know that we’ll get to finish it, because we have all the time to do it.” – Alexander, age 14
- “I get to ride my horse a lot more, and there’s more time to play outside.” – Madison, age 10
- “My Mom has more time to snuggle me.” – Freddie, age 4
- “I’m having fun learning to ride my bike in the backyard.” – Zoë, age 7
- “I’m using the time to peacefully relax and think. I usually have a super busy schedule, but without anywhere to go, I’m getting a break from my busy life and it’s one of the things I needed.” – Amelia, age 14
See what we mean! Despite the fact that kids have had to adjust to drastic changes in their routines, too, they are using the time to snuggle more with a parent who normally isn’t there. They are learning and playing and thinking. We aren’t saying that adults don’t have a lot to deal with right now, but what if we take a little time each day to listen to our inner child. Find the value in this mandatory reset. Learn a new skill or practice an old one. If you’re working from home, take a break, even if it’s just a few minutes outside to think.
A child’s unique perspective, free of adult anxieties, can serve as a reminder to look beyond the challenges of these most unprecedented times to find what else really matters.