We are facing something new. For some people this is the end of the world as we know, for others this is just mass hysteria, nothing to worry about. People are dying, we get scared, we are worried about our parents, about our jobs, mortgages, money and future of the world. What is your opinion on Covid19? Are you worried? Is it the end of our world? Is it another conspiracy theory?
My son is autistic, on top of that he’s got developmental delay. He’s attending a special school, well he did, now he’s at home. He was always keen on staying at home, he doesn’t like waking up and rushing to school, he does not dislike it, but routine is quite important for him. Now, all his weekly routine is out of the window, he’s anxious, he senses that something is different, something is not quite ok. This has a huge impact on his mental wellbeing, relationship and on his mood.
We can’t really explain to him why he has to be at home, why his routine changed, why his Saturday outings to the soft play are cancelled, why he has to do some school work at home. Almost everything he knew about his life is gone.
He is just ten.
As co-parents, this whole situation with social distancing is breaking my heart. It’s nothing personal, I can’t be angry, I can’t blame anyone for this, Covid19 is only one thing I can blame on, but this makes no sense. Do you agree? Nonetheless, it hurts, it throws me off my feet but I can’t do anything about it. I see my children every day, through face time, visiting them every second day, they stay at mine or just popping in for an afternoon. Still, it’s scary and worrying that our relationship and their wellbeing is at risk.
If you’re a parent, please don’t focus on this, don’t make your children sit and do some school work – this is not a good way of teaching them. Be present, do staff with them, listen to them, they need you, they need to feel safe. We can’t control what’s happening around us but we can control our way acting upon it.
Homeschooling or school of life?
Education is a journey. I am a huge fan of home education, which means that if I could I would spend my days showing my children the world, explore with them, accompany them on this amazing journey. You can educate math while doing some chores or shopping, you can teach biology exploring nearby woodlands, going fishing or bird spotting, topping this up with interesting youtube video or National Geographic episode.
We can show compassion and teach empathy helping with the daily tasks of our elderly neighbours. PE – playing games in the garden. Geography with travel, imagination with a book, passion with our own passions and art with paint and music around us. Chess helps with analytical thinking.
We don’t need to ask our children to sit and do boring homework, classrooms killing creativity.
We can really access anything, we can talk about history, the big bang, animals, biology, evolution …why would you ask your kid to sit and do boring schoolwork?
If they have been given some work to do, make it interesting, make it exciting, make it fun.
COVID19 and anxiety
Talk to your children, depending on their age and stage appropriately using social stories if needed. Don’t lie, don’t say that everything will be ok and this thing will finish soon. We don’t know that and this is really something new. Tell your children that’s ok to be worried, be scared but all together we can make sure that we’re safe and sound. For them, all of this is also difficult, it’s not a school holiday, this is our chance to save lives.
Please don’t watch the news with children, if they want to know stuff, you can update them each day leaving difficult information, but please don’t lie. This is your call what to tell them, what to leave out if they need to know. If they have laptops or phones, let them know to step back from the news and the whole virus talk for their mental health.
If you have younger children, maybe this social story will help you:
Click the link above.
We will survive, we will move on, maybe we will change our ways a bit. It’s time to look closely and find out what we could improve, take seriously climate change, the danger of another deadly virus, changes in education systems and our approach to life. To be more present, not to have more.
I’m asking again: What is your opinion on Covid19? Are you worried? Is it the end of our world? Is it another conspiracy theory?