5 Characteristics to Instill in our Children During a Pandemic
Thanks to Covoid-19, school has been canceled leaving parents and caregivers in a situation not yet encountered. If you have experienced a summer at home with your children you know a little bit about what to expect, but usually their time is spent in camps and playing with neighbors. What you are experiencing now is uncharted territory and grace for yourself and your little ones is what you will need most now.
We are giving you permission to throw out all plans and expectations. We could take this time to share with you how important schedules are for the success of your and your child’s development, but we believe that is the last thing you want to hear in this moment. Instead of imposing a new schedule on you, we want to encourage you to utilize this quality time to teach these 5 characteristics to your children.
A pandemic like this could really cause panic, but our team at Family First Household Staffing Agency wants to flip the script. What better time than now to teach our future generation Empathy, Generosity, Creativity, Responsibility and Resourcefulness?
Did you know that in 1665 when the Great Plague of London was spreading, Cambridge University was shut down and Isaac Newton was forced to stay home? During this time, he invented calculus, parts of optic theory- and allegedly, while sitting in his garden, he saw an apple fall from a tree that inspired his understanding of gravity and the laws of motion! (Washington Post)
We aren’t saying that you need to change the world while working from home and your children are running around in chaos. We are saying, you can change the atmosphere of your tiny piece of the world that is in front of you now.
These qualities can get you through anything, even a pandemic. Whether you are a parent or nanny we believe these characteristics will help not only the children in your life, but the family as whole. Ready to change your atmosphere?
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of one another. Everyone has been affected by social distancing from Covoid-19. Keeping your children in the light and explaining why it’s important that we keep our distance from others is an amazing way to explain empathy. Maybe take this time to share that keeping away from large groups of our friends and even grandparents is a way to protect them from getting sick. Opening up this conversation will of course lead them to ask more questions, but curiosity is wonderful and we hope that you will welcome it. If they know they are helping people by staying home, we believe it will help make the transition for them and you much smoother. If they want to share their concern and love with the community, you could set up a card making station for them using simple things like construction paper and crayons or for older kids markers, glitter and fun paper. They can use their free time to make cards or write letters to people in nursing homes. Nursing homes are on lock down with no visitors allowed and we can only imagine the type of loneliness they are experiencing. Sending a hand written card to them will be a wonderful and fun way to express empathy.
Another way to utilize this time is to teach your little ones generosity. Generosity is an outpouring of kindness and that is something children overflow with. They are so innocent and ready to soak up the goodness around them. Lets help instill generosity by being an example of generosity. Can you get your family together to put a care package together for a child or family in need during this time? Here are some opportunities to lead by example.
Ways to Be Generous:
- Do you have an over abundance of toilet paper? Snag a FRESH roll and tie a humorous, but kind note on it. Have your little one (if they are old enough) run it down to your neighbors front door. Example: “Since toilet paper is like gold these days we wanted to share the wealth.” This also instills a sense of community and could catch on quick. Helping more than one person.
- With schools being closed, many children who were fed by the school are now without lunches! There are organizations all over the country asking for donations to help feed them. You could have your children go through your pantry and pick a few items to donate. If you are local to the Charlotte area, Bags of Hope is a wonderful and trustworthy place to donate items to.
Creativity does not always have to equal crafty. We can’t all be the next Martha Stewart. So get creative in a different way…how can you create community when we are suppose to be social distancing?
- Online reading parties and music time are becoming a quick and innovative way for people to stay connected with loved ones while engaging them in fun activities. Invite friends, family or other nannies to a zoom call or FaceBook live and let each adult take a turn reading or singing to the kids.
- Switch the online parties around and have your kids read to each other or if they are older and working on homework, have a virtual study party!
- If all else fails, revert to Pinterest for fun craft ideas and do you best not to worry about the mess. We have learned that kids need a little freedom to get creative with crafts and sometimes that equals a mini tornado on your kitchen table. If you have the space, maybe designate a “safe” area for them and put painters tape around it so they know they can get messy within these lines. Boundaries are definitely good for something!
Teaching a child responsibility doesn’t have to be painful. Having them join you in doing everyday tasks can be extremely beneficial. You don’t always have to play a game or do a craft and we promise, there are ways to make cleaning up fun.
- Do you need to sweep the kitchen floor? Ask Alexa to play some fun music and give the kiddos a broom as well. Ask them to dance with the broom and to make sure to snatch as many crumbs up as possible while they do.
- If it’s time to clean up and they are learning about colors, ask them to clean up using the colors of the rainbow. It’s just like Eye Spy but with colors only. Have them pick everything up that is red, then blue, then yellow and so on.
- When unloading the dishwasher it’s nice to have an extra set of hands even if they are tiny hands. Have them take the plastic ware out of the dishwasher. You can make sure that all plastic ware either goes in a cabinet that they can reach or you can have them put the plastic ware on a towel on the counter. Make sure to stay engaged with them while they do this and talk through what each item is and how it’s used.
Next to Empathy, being resourceful could quite possibly be one of the most important characteristics to instill with your children. Do they have any ideas that could motivate or inspire others? No TP? Ask them about what else they could use? This is a great way to start talking about recycling and waste as well. While we take time at home, there is less pollution in our world allowing our earth to heal. Since we all have an abundance of toilet paper and paper towels, try using the cardboard rolls to make crafts! Another great example is the coconut! Every part of the coconut is used; its water for drinking; its milk for cooking, its oil for hair products, soap or cosmetics, its meat for eating, the husk for making anything that requires fibers like carpets, flower pots, door mats or charcoal, and finally its shell for bowls, cups, ladles or planters. I doubt everyone is buying coconuts right now, but just think about that! Every single part of the coconut is valuable. What can this teach our children about being resourceful? I feel like we could write an entire blog on each of these characteristics, but for now we will leave you with this.
During this time you have the opportunity to change the atmosphere of your home. Hold your loved ones close, snuggle a little longer, enjoy every sip of that cup of coffee, when your partner and children start to drive you crazy – take a deep breathe and remember that the world we live in has never been more productive. We eat, sleep and breath work. No doubt this will be a rough season, but please take advantage of the time you have to slow down and be present with your family. We will never get this time back and your children are children for an extremely small portion of their lives. This is valuable time to soak up in every way shape or form. Please ignore the “rules” of daily schedules and daily tasks that we feel equal success. Your business calls will be filled with children’s noises in the back ground, your coffee will probably be tipped over by tiny fingers and your partner may drive you crazy, but you will get through this and I hope you can look back at this brief time in history and be happy about how you spent your time. We are here for you and want to support you! If you have any questions or want to learn more about a certain topic, please let us know. We love our community and are in this with you.
Sending you all much love from our team at Family First.