Sylvia McCrory / 2020
Let us face it. Coronavirus is not a good thing. Turn on the news and the statics of death and unemployment are devasting, not to mention the mental health issues due to isolation and anxiety. But I am a “glass half full” type of person. There are some positive things that are a result of the coronavirus. Indulge me for a few minutes as I point the positives.
Families are spending more time together
It was only a few months ago, parents were complaining that there just was not enough time in the day to get everything done and have time left over for the family. Now, we have the time. Treasure it, this will not last, and we will never be able to get it back. Do things together as a family. Play board games, work puzzles, build forts, have races in the backyard and when you have done all those things, let the children make up the games for you. Have family meetings, read the Bible together. Listen to your children. They have fabulous imaginations with great stories to tell.
Mr. Rogers, in his book Mister Rogers Talks With Parents tells it this way:
One thing being there can mean is listening.
More and more, I have come to feel that listening is one of the most important things that we can do for another person, whether that someone is an adult or a child. Our commitment to listen to who that person speaking or playing or dancing, building or singing or painting, if we care we can be attempting to listen.
Focus on What we Have Instead of What We Don’t Have
I think we are experiencing withdrawal pains from the “world”. I understand we live in a world not accustomed to isolation. But in our isolation, we are discovering the “world” of family. If you take a minute to look within the walls of your home, you may see many blessings and gifts from God. I grew up poor by today’s standards. But most of my friends were poor. We did not think about what we did not have, we were too busy enjoying the things we did have. In those days, there were no team sports outside of school. Children played their games in the backyard. A game of badminton, or croquet in the backyard was a treat. There was no internet, no cable TV. We made up games, we could make a plastic container of bubbles last all day. And we did not expect parents to entertain us. We were in charge of our happiness. We had the responsibility to amuse ourselves if our parents were busy, and to enjoy the time we spent as a family.
So how does this happen today? The slate has been wiped clean. Parents are in uncharted waters. It is a fun adventure if we will let it be. Allow children more freedom, within limits to amuse themselves. They will learn pride in accomplishments, success in perseverance, and determination. Sometimes the hardest thing for parents is to step back and let children manage the task at hand. You may want to start out small, tell them they must entertain themselves for 30 minutes, if they can’t manage, they may need to spend the time in their room (where they will undoubtedly find something to amuse themselves).
Children are experiencing disappointments that parents cannot fix
Wow, did I just say that is a good thing? Yes. We try to fix everything for our children, we do not want them to be unhappy or disappointed. This is one thing we cannot fix. We cannot make the graduations, sports, proms, and other celebrations that we are used to happen. But this can be a good thing. Life is full of disappointments. Our children need to experience these, they need to know they will get through it and they will be fine.
As a family we need to pray for our children and with them, let them know we turn to God in trying times, and there is where they will find peace. The important lesson for children to learn is there will be disappointments in life, they will get through them, even if it may not appear so, and God is the only answer we can always count on to share our burdens.
We have turned our focus away from material things
I am afraid, before the coronavirus, many of us were focused on our next purchase, our next vacation, our next big event. We were focused on ourselves and how we were going to please ourselves. Our focus should always be on God and how we will please Him. Are we living a life that brings glory to God? Now, we have the time to spend with God. Are we doing it? Hopefully, we are now focusing on the important things in life, leading a Godly life, training our children in a way pleasing to God and taking the focus off self.