The following message was posted on our local community page. I’m sharing it – with permission from the author – because I think it needs to be heard far & wide. Be kind, people; be thoughtful; be considerate; be community-minded – and help our children to grow to be like this too. Kia kaha koutou.
To the parents – in the up coming weeks and months we maybe faced with a version of life we can’t imagine in many ways. So we need to all remember that how we face the up-coming challenges will have a lasting imprint on our children. It will determine the types of adults they will become as it’s our challenges in life that really build our characters.
If they see us panic buying, hoarding goods and fighting in supermarkets then they will grow up thinking that they are the only one that counts and they must look after only themselves at all costs.
If they see us depressed and upset and worrying all the time they will think they should handle life’s challenges in the same way – they will not see the inner strength we all have.
If we vocalize our distrust of the scientists or the politicians and flout the rules then we teach them to disrespect those in authority and that rules and laws don’t count for them.
However if we look out for others, check in on people around us, respect and even trust that sometimes people in authority make decisions that we don’t always like but need to follow, then we teach our children empathy, compassion and inner strength. They will learn endurance and to stay strong and work as family units when times get tough.
Remember to keep life a little bit normal through this turmoil – turn the news off every now and then and ask about their day and what they learnt. Ask them what they know and how they are feeling about everything don’t just force your opinions or impressions on them.
Teach them lessons at home – like being resourceful, how to make dinner with 3 ingredients, how to sew on buttons or even iron their own uniforms. Dust off the sewing machine or create a veggie garden. Practice changing a tyre or check the oil in your car. Things we tend to get too busy for these days and so our children miss the opportunity to learn basic life skills.
But most importantly – look for the beauty, look for the good and look for the humanity. Show them the clips of the fish in the Venice canals or the fitness instructor doing classes on his roof, bake a cake for an elderly neighbor or mow their lawn. In every disaster if we look we can see how many people come together to be strong – let your children see this all of this and they will come out the other side strong, compassionate and maybe with a few extra life skills too.