These last few days, I’ve been thinking about the children that we work with. I’ve been wondering how they are doing emotionally through this time at home. How they have been coping with all of the changes. What they doing with their time? How is the stress that we are all experiencing affecting our children? What will they remember?
When I think back to my childhood, every memory I have is tied to either a positive or negative emotion. I remember the Batman and Robin birthday party I had when I was 5. It was a good memory! There were several little girls in party dresses with Batman masks. I was planning on marrying Batman when I grew up. I remember painting on an easel in the backyard with my mother and father when I was 3. I had gotten tired of putting the paint on the paper and started to paint my mother’s cheek. She let me, and it was one of my favorite memories because it made me feel good.
When I was in middle school, my dad and I went to a father-daughter dance that had a theme of Let’s Make a Deal. My father created these huge, colorful, see-through wings for me, which I wore over black tights and a leotard, with antennas on my head. I loved it. He wore a safari hat, carried a big net, and dressed as a bug collector. The sign he carried said, “I’m out to catch a big deal.”
I also remember one time when my parents had a big fight, and my mother took me and left the house for the night. That was not a happy memory for me. We stayed at my grandmother’s house and came home the next day. Then there was Christmas when I was in 5th grade. My parents were having work done on the house and there was a big rainstorm. It was big for living in California. The rain came in through multiple places in the roof. We had pans and buckets all over with water dripping in them. The Christmas tree was soaked, and my parents had to throw it out in the yard with all the ornaments and strings of lights still on, early Christmas morning.
Living through those times, and how my parents responded to those situations, influenced the memories I have and have had impact on my life. Those experiences have shaped my outlook, my choices, and my life as an adult. While we work with our students, under the ‘stay at home’ order due to the Covid-19 virus, I believe it is vital to find ways to lessen the effects of any uncertainty and anxiety.
There were times in my own childhood where if my parents had responded differently, I may not have had such negative emotions attached to some of those memories. I want my home and the people who live in it to know there is always hope. To have peace when things outside may seem uncertain. What can you do today that will leave an impactful, lasting memory that will help your child deal with stressful situations as an adult?
Want ideas for strengthening your family’s relationships and home life during these stressful times? Check out our other page: 9 strategies that have helped our family get through these times