I have always said that the children are the canary in the coal mine. So the alarming amount of anxiety, depression, suicidation, addiction, bullying, violence, self-injury, eating disorders, etc. - to me have always signaled that something is incredibly toxic in the world in which they are being raised. Their parents are busy and stressed and shuttling them (via "Muber" and Uber) between myriad activities that they yes (sometimes), love, and also make them more appealing college candidates, and therefore rather than being fun, healthy endeavors are now another way to measure their worth. Their teachers entered the profession wanting to help kids learn and are largely stressed because they are forced to focus on tasks and requirements that force them away from feeding their students' inner spark. Their schools have become boxes that keep them sedentary, indoors, with the occasional active shooter lockdown drills. Their healthcare professionals have been taught to compartmentalize them into parts, divorcing the brain from the rest of the body, pathologizing healthy reactions to their toxic world as conditions that must be medicated and addressed by professionals that are actually not covered to a large extent by their insurance, and that require special accommodations at school. Why do so many kids have 504 plans? Perhaps it's the system that needs to change, rather than the children?
Now our kids are home for a few weeks, possibly longer. Their caregivers are (for the most part, though certainly not all, especially if they are medical professionals - THANK YOU if this is you!!!!) also home. Kids are having to deal with boredom, with finding ways to feel connected socially (turns out they actually do want to see their friends in person). They actually have the opportunity to sleep. Their SAT's have been canceled through at least May.
The children are the segment of the human population who so far are physically unscathed by the coronavirus (with some exceptions if they have underlying health issues). Interesting how nature is sparing them, no?
What if during all of this, which could be a forced global reboot, we look at what we can learn and apply going forward? What if being forced to spend time at home, with our kids and animals, and outdoors, is actually the vacation we really needed rather than the bank-breaking trip to Disney World? What if we start to realize that without the pressures of the rat race, our addiction to "mommy timeout wine" is not because of the stresses of being a mom, but because of everything that was distracting us from connecting us with deep, meaningful work and connection? What if this will finally get rid of the horrible SATs and the increasingly dysfunctional world/industry of education as we know it? What if our children will start to heal, as we collectively slow down and focus and prioritize and connect in more meaningful ways? What if the next round of rap songs are about helping our neighbors, listening to our wiser elders, finding comfort in community and love rather than Gucci and Xanax and meaningless hook-ups (I know, that may be pushing it).
All we have is this moment. There is so much uncertainty around us. The kids are looking to us for signals of how they should feel and be. Maybe we should start looking to them. While we are social distancing or in lockdown, maybe we should worry less about lesson plans and instead look for signs of spring in the yard, reorganize the furniture, make vision boards, teach the dog a new trick, learn some Tik Tok dances, learn how to make a fire in case we ever end up on Survivor, create a new Bucket List that actually does not require a plane ticket, start a gratitude journal or a bullet journal, try out some YouTube yoga practices, find stillness in meditation and prayer...
What if this is really just the beginning, and our children will finally get through to us?
Wellness coach, athlete, mom, entrepreneur. I love helping people mindfully reboot their health & joy.