“History will judge us by the difference we make in the everyday lives of our children.” – Nelson Mandela
Enough has been said and discussed about the pandemic and how it has us all in grips of fear and anxiety. The precautions to be taken to keep oneself safe from the virus. New vocabulary has been introduced to our everyday conversation. Children as young as preschoolers are now talking about “Social Distancing” and the “New Normal”.
When they look back, twenty years from today, what is it that they will remember? Are they going to look back at the year that was 2020 and shudder in remembered fear, or will they have memories of how humanity came together to come through these trying times?
And that is the essence of this passage.
As parents, teachers and caregivers, it is time to reflect, not only about what is to be done right now, but also about the future our young children are heading towards.
While physical well-being is the focus right now, we must also look at how we can keep our children emotionally strong. And this can be done only if the adults around them work together.
Here are some suggestions to enable this. And we call it the 4 A’s that will see you through!
The first “A” is Awareness. It is important that we make ourselves Aware of the reality that is. Understanding the situation in totality will help us sift through the unending information that is bombarding all media handles. It will help us keep our balance and reduce our anxiety. Not everything that is published is authentic. Check for accuracy of information and validate it by checking authentic websites, such as the WHO, CDC and the IMA. Refrain form forwarding messages that trigger panic and anxiety. Stop the spread, not just of the virus, but also of these morbid messages.
The second “A” is Acceptance. The situation is what it is. Accept it. The sooner we move to accepting the situation, the sooner we will find ways to resolve the everyday issues we face. Look for the silver lining each day. This forced “Stay at Home” situation has opened up so many new avenues for us to grow and develop. The first and most significant advantage everyone is speaking about is the wonderful quality time that we are able to enjoy with our family. Family ties are getting stronger, lost friends are reconnecting, new skills are being learnt. Above all, many of us are rediscovering ourselves.
The third “A” is Adaptability. Evolution has proven that adaptation is the only way in which a species can survive. To mention an oft quoted cliché, it is the rule of the “Survival of the Fittest” that one needs to remember. Learn to adapt, to change with the situation. Once you have made yourself aware of the situation and accepted it for what it is, evaluate it and see what needs to be done to adapt to it. Learn new skills if you must, be it technology, communication, presentation, etc., equip yourself with the new skills required to function optimally. Build resilience and patience. Find new interests and hobbies. Increase, not just your physical immunity, but also your emotional resilience.
The final “A” in the tool kit is Appreciation. Appreciate what we have rather crib about than what we do not have. With so many people across the globe succumbing to the virus, we are indeed very fortunate that we are employed, safe, alive and healthy. Count your blessings, you’ll be surprised to know that your blessings outweigh and out number your woes. Think of all those who have lost their lives, or lost their loved ones; or lost their jobs; of those who are facing extreme financial difficulties; who are stranded so far from home; who do not even have a safe place to call “home”! We are fortunate and blessed. Therefore, let us appreciate this. Not just by sending up a prayer of thanks, but also by actioning that appreciation. Extend help and support wherever and whenever you can. Appreciate those who are working to sustain an element of normalcy, even during these bizarre times; those risking their lives to save that of others. Appreciate the educators who are burning the midnight oil to ensure that learning never stops. Appreciate the family that is providing you with a loving and safety net, so that your schedule for working from home or working for home is as seamless as possible.
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