Change brings opportunities. So what can children and young adults learn from the COVID 19 experience?
Let’s have a look at the sunny side …
Obviously, they have learned……..
- the importance of hygiene practices – washing your hands protects you and others,
- the term social distancing which has become an accepted part of our vocabulary,
- acceptance – those certain activities previously part of daily life are now postponed or cancelled.
but also they can learn…….
- to spend more time with you, their families and siblings, they are learning to manage these relationships (which can be positive and negative, refer to UNICEF Australia survey https://www.unicef.org.au/blog/unicef-in-action/may-2020/coronavirus-children)
- they are learning that contact with their family and friends is very important for their wellbeing – have they been able to turn the Me Me Me into We We We?
- they can learn to recognise fear and anxiety, they develop tolerance – obstacles are ok
- maybe they have developed resilience, kindness, or an awareness of self and character with time spent alone?
- and with increased time at home self-motivation?
- maybe they also can learn self-regulation – (refer to Stuart Shankar, Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Psychology, the CEO of The MEHRIT Centre, Ltd.). He advocates the Shankar Method, a 5 step self-regulation model).If you have time I recommend you read more as I have heard him speak so passionately about the importance of this for children https://self-reg.ca/self-reg/
- can they learn that the world is a beautiful but a far from perfect place that can change quickly?
- have they learned trust – in themselves, you their parents and friends?
- are they learning to develop emotional intelligence? What’s in their emotional toolbox? – Many psychologists use the term emotional toolbox as it is an easily recognised visual image. Children search and find learnt skills or strategies and apply these to problem solving.
So much has changed for our children during this time of the COVID19 global pandemic. There is a lot of information out there and you may feel bombarded. The trick is to be discerning, get your information from reputable sources such as those listed below.
Meanwhile, let’s keep looking at the sunny side, get happy, clap along and dance like nobody’s watching.Thankyou Pharrell Williams…….
Pharrell Williams – Happy (Official Music Video)
Written by Mary Digges, MDR Education, Early Childhood Consultant for Angsana Education.
* Mary Digges is a happy early childhood teacher, lecturer, trainer, assessor and consultant in education and has long promoted bilingual and multilingual education. Mary has worked in Australia, Singapore and China.
- The Australian Government Department of Health
- The NSW Ministry of Health – NSW Health
- UNICEF Australia surveyed 1000 children aged 13-17 years from regional and metropolitan areas about how they were coping with the Coronavirus. Their responses make interesting reading
- Red Cross re COVID
- Raising Children: re Anxiety in Children
- Raising Children: Corona Virus and Children in Australia
- Beyond Blue: From Toddlers to Teens – how to talk about the Corona Virus