Coronavirus: Giving you the opportunity to bond with your kids.

Parents are not equipped to care for their children full-time for long periods of time, and this lack may lead to increasing stress levels and spanking in families with young children.

Lack of connectivity and skillful parenting did not use to be an issue, since children spent most of their year in school and/or summer camp. Family vacations rarely last longer then three weeks, and school breaks are filled with extracurricular activities. Even during summer and winter breaks, parents struggle to cope with their kids and silently count down the days until school starts again. Apparently, a few hours a day, weekends, and vacations are all some parents can handle with their children.

Now, with schools shut across the country and colleges and businesses going online, families are stuck together at home with no options such as eating out, going to the theatre, or daycare to relieve the stress, since social distancing is advised right now.

What to do? Watch TV and play video games nonstop?

With most parents ill-equipped to entertain and engage their kids, self-quarantine makes the weeks ahead look grim. Stories on Instagram and Facebook go to show even some of those parents who have taken it upon themselves to make sure their children continue to learn at home are struggling as much as their children to stay dedicated to the task. Most of the posts I see now in parenting groups and on parenting blogs are now suggestions on how to spend this “challenging” time with your kids.

On the flip side, spending weeks with their parents for the better part of the day is enough to make most children moan. Why? Because their parents are not inviting people.

I recently looked through my bookshelf for something to read and picked out a student handbook to writing I bought on a whim at a library book sale months ago. Targeted at teens, the book painted a compelling image of a typical school day involving breakfast, school, homework, and TV. No mention of parents. No mention of family save “your annoying little brother”. How different would that picture be if you enjoyed spending time with your little brother!

Families will survive being under the same roof 24/7 but I fear that impatience and stress levels will skyrocket in households where parents are unused to spending days directly in contact with their children and are becoming increasingly aware of how much of their lives depends on school and full-time work. I think spanking will increase in households where parents are not accustomed to spending the whole day with their young kids.

Is spanking simply a drastic measure or does it come from parents who are content to allow the schools to raise their children and do little to no teaching themselves?

Screen Shot 2020-03-17 at 5.57.47 PM
Image Source: Facebook

When you do not practice teaching your children, you cannot hope to find new ways to teach, much less discipline. In fact, why bother finding a new way to discipline when spanking already resolves most problems with as little as a few slaps?

When children spend half of their day in school, and half with their parents, it becomes hard to balance out what is learned where. Often, school becomes the atmosphere that shapes most children’s behavior (or misbehavior) and sets the standard for connection.

Parents become the people children come home to. Parents become the people who make sure chores and homework are done and set limits on screen time. Parents turn into reinforcers; not teachers but rather the law. And the law does not encourage connection or honesty.

Many parents do put in an effort to engage with their kids in the meager time school days and a full-time job afford. Even a little bit of connection between parent and child means there is some connection. Since it is the only connection families have known for perhaps generations, it is not seen as shallow connection but rather as what connection is, even though I believe true connection runs much deeper.

If it is all you have ever known, it is enough.

If it is all you have ever known, strive to make it better!

If you already spend time with your kids, great! You know how the engage with your kids and are all set to spend even more time together without spanking. But if you do not spend much time with your children, and regret the lack of connection in your household, coronavirus has given you the opportunity to bond, to see what family is if only parents and children enjoyed each other’s company instead of winding up frustrated, fed-up, or full of dreamy eyes at the lives in Family Fun.

Bond by playing games and working over schoolwork together. Bond by watching meaningful shows as a family, building with Legos, or doing small arts and crafts. Bond by talking. Bond by cuddling. Bond by not spanking.

And when this is over, maybe your kids will not run to play video games and watch TV after dinner and homework is done because maybe you will have become a real person who treats your kids with respect, who recognizes their value, and gives them a foundation to lay down their dreams and fears on. Maybe you will have become more engaging to them then (dare I say it) TV or video games.

Who knows? Maybe.

 

Photo by Keegan Houser on Unsplash

 

 

39 thoughts on “Coronavirus: Giving you the opportunity to bond with your kids.

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  1. Wow! That is so thoughtful. I have been following your blog for a while and I just realized you must be in education? If so Thank You! I am fortunate to live in a great area with big homes on big lots and a neighborhood park. I see happy families playing outside everyday, but I know that so many people, even people in my neighborhood are having a hard time right now. For every happy kid I see playing outside right now, I know there are kids suffering because of this isolation. Thank you for this important post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am actually not in education, but I have always loved engaging with people. Discussion leads to learning new things. 🙂

      I love yet am saddened by your reflection that for, every happy kid enjoying their family, there is an unhappy one, and am inspired to write about it! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

      Like

  2. Beautifully written. The art of relating to our children as human beings rather than wind-up dolls seems lost on most people. When my daughter was little I used to make the time to listen to her and it was incredibly enlightening rediscovering the world through her eyes and from her point of view. It’s a treasure rare and precious and given for only a brief handful of years.

    Like

  3. I read a FB post from a headteacher yesterday which put everything into context for me. We are not homeschooling. Homeschooling is a choice, when you become the teacher having researched, planned and provided for this way of life. What parents and teachers are doing now are reacting to an unprecedented emergency situation. If we can’t teach our children (as I’m still working) then that’s fine. It’s about bonding, not the curriculum. Great post, Jaya, thank you. xx

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Completely agree, it’s important to have some benefit from this epidemic, isn’t it? Such a great way to bond and have a different learning experience. It’s the people who have to continue to work and put their families on the back burner that I feel for during this time; they really are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Aimsy xoxo
    Aimsy’s Antics

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is such a good read. I definitely agree. Parents should spend more time with their kids and actually get to know them during this covid-19 outbreak. Thank you for writing such a wonderful post ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is such a positive take on this awful situation. I saw a tweet earlier today where someone said their mum said she was glad for the social distancing as it meant all of her (grown) children were around the dinner table each night rather than out and doing their own thing. It made me so happy but kind of broke my heart at the same time? It would be great if this situation ends up improving all of our family relationships like that x

    Sophie

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Oh cool! such an interesting read! As someone who has just had a child (well 10 months old) my opinion on this has changed since maybe a year or so ago. I definitely agree it’s the perfect time to bond with your children but also there should be a balance too! I hope everyone stays safe with what we are going through 😦

    Ashleigh – https://www.ashleighsmoments.com

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I love that you see the positivity where this is an opportunity to bond with children. At the same time, parents may not be used to all of this free time together. IT would be cool to play games nonstop but the kids still need to learn. This is where families are really put to the test. Hopefully this is a learning opportunity for all of us!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Great read. As someone without a child it’s hard for me to have an opinion on such topics, but I can certainly empathize. This hault to society is completely unprecedented and scary, but it’s a great opportunity for us to reconnect with loved ones and build stronger relationships too – I hope that the level of compassion and kindness we’re all sharing with one another lasts long after this virus.

    Kate | thelittlecrunch.co.uk

    Liked by 3 people

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