What will our kids remember from these history-making times in which we’re living?
As the Coronavirus spreads across the globe, our kids are trying to make sense of things, just as we parents are. They hear the news stories. They see the empty grocery store shelves. They wonder if someone they know will come down with the virus next. They feel the loneliness of social distancing and worry that their summer plans may end up cancelled before this is all over.
How can we help them thrive and build positive memories of these days spent at home?
You may have heard the following saying:
“People may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”– Carl W. Buechner
Right now, the days are rich with opportunities to help our kids experience the following emotions:
Extended time at home means lots of togetherness. Instead of being distracted, each on our own device, let’s be intentional about having fun together. Dust off those board games. Bake some cookies with your kids. Pull out your favorite childhood books and read them aloud. Enjoy a picnic in the backyard and play frisbee while you’re out there.
It’s all too easy to focus on what we’re missing and fixate on what we don’t have. But now’s a great time to take inventory of all the good things we do enjoy. Give each family member an index card and take time to count your blessings. Add to this list each day.
The world may be in a panic and people may be stockpiling toilet paper, but at home, let’s cultivate a feeling of security and camaraderie. Invite open conversations where everyone can freely discuss what they’re thinking and feeling. Remind each other often of your love. Seek to create a haven where each person feels safe, understood, and encouraged to thrive.
This won’t be the only time our kids face scary situations. How we handle things now can prepare them to face the future with confidence. Remind each other of ways you’ve seen God answer prayer. Talk often of His faithfulness in the past – both to you and to other believers. (Reading missionary stories is a great way to do this.*)
Above all, keep coming back to Jesus as our Rock in unstable times (Psalm 61:2). Read the Psalms together and discuss what you learn about Him there. Spend time praying with one another. Verbalize your faith that God works all things out for our good (Romans 8:28).
The days ahead are rich with family-building, faith-cultivating opportunities. With intentionality, we can help our kids feel enjoyed, thankful, secure, and full of hope.
They’ll remember these feelings for the rest of their lives.
*Christian Heroes: Then and Now and the Trailblazer Books are our family’s favorite missionary story series.