Family in Lockdown – How is your family using this time?
Just a few weeks ago we had the announcement that all schools across England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland would be closing for an unknown amount of time. This move, to try and slow the spread of Covid 19, is something none of us has ever experienced in our lifetime.
It brought about lots of different questions, emotions and feelings:
- How will my child be educated?
- How will they sit their exams?
- How will I cope with my children at home 24/7?
- How am I going to entertain them?
There has been an amazing effort put in by people all over the country to help parents who are now having to home school their children. From teachers who have spent hours putting together work for pupils to access via online platforms, to celebrities who have taken to social media to teach children everything from PE to baking and even gardening.
Many have embraced the change and have chosen to view it as a positive move in order to protect their children and their wider community. It is a welcome opportunity to have more family time. However, we would be lying to say that even as adults we are not finding the situation strange and worrying. We must remember that there are many struggling to cope with what’s going on in the world right now. So how do we think our children are feeling?
They went from their ‘normal lives’ going to school, playing with their friends in the park and going to clubs, to being told that they can’t leave their house or garden other than for maybe a short walk each day and the only way you can see your loved ones is by video messaging. Children have an amazing ability to accept new information, they are resilient, and they have embraced this as their ‘new normal’.
How can we help our children, how can we make this ‘new normal’ a positive and empowering experience for them?
Open and honest conversation is the best way to start. When we understand the reasons behind things it makes them easier to accept and hopefully makes them seem less frightening. In our house we have had lots of conversations with our children about what is happening, and it has also allowed us to talk with them about the hope we have through the death of the Lord Jesus Christ.
For example, in John 3 v 16-17 we are told, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
We have been able to reassure them that, yes, this is scary and we don’t know what is going to happen next. But really, do we ever? We know from the Bible that God is in control and we have nothing to fear if we put our trust in him. In 1 Chronicles 29v11-12 we are told, “Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.”
The fact that these events are all coinciding with what would have been the Easter holiday (the time of year when Christians around the world think about the death and resurrection of Jesus) has given us even more opportunities to talk to our children about God’s purpose. It has also given us lots of activities to be able to do; craft activities, puzzles, even baking some delicious hot cross buns (keep an eye on our Facebook page – we will be sharing some of these activities with you over the next few weeks)! Small things that we as a family can do together, both entertaining our children and giving us plenty of opportunities to teach them about God’s plan for our world.
Have you considered starting the day by doing a Bible reading together as a family? It is a lovely way to begin the day. Personally, it sets me up for whatever lies ahead by strengthening, calming and focussing my mind – plus, it’s a great way to get your kids practicing their reading with you! Here is a link to our daily readings. It’s a good place to start, just pick one a day if you want to.
Life right now is scary and challenging but we know that God is with us and will protect us, if we put our trust in him, as we are told in Joshua 1v9, “Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”