Kids Are Superheroes

As we are about to hit the one year mark of the pandemic here in North America, there has been a lot of focus on the incredibly important and selfless job that health care workers have done. There has been emphasis placed on the struggles and difficulties that many businesses have had to endure. Educators have been in the spotlight often as the way school looks this year has had to change drastically. Supports have been put in place to help many, and although it’s been really hard, most of our realities have been taken into consideration and something, whether it be little or small, has been done to try and help us all get through it.

Although I believe this to be true about kids, too, I wonder if they need more reminding and uplifting than we are providing. I wonder if we’re giving them enough credit for all that they’re having to endure, and if we’re considering how it is impacting them.

I’ll be the first to admit that my own four boys are getting a lot more screen time these days and one of the biggest reasons why is because it is providing connection. Zoom call with aunts and uncles to play Among Us? Sure! Want to do your home reading over FaceTime so that your grand-parents can see you beam with pride? I’ll never say no. Extra time playing Minecraft with your friends because that’s the only way you can play right now? Okay. A virtual friend’s birthday party escape room over Zoom? You bet. Workouts over Teams with your hockey team since you can’t even practice together right now? You got it!

But, it’s going to have an impact. And I say this fully knowing that my kids are blessed because they are currently able to learn at school and have been doing so since September.

What about the kids who are doing all of the above while also on screens all day because they’re learning from home?

This post is not necessarily about screens, though. It’s about the bigger impact that this pandemic will have on them. Will my first grade students struggle with sharing and playing with peers appropriately after I’ve been reminding them constantly this year to stay 2 meters apart and that they can’t share toys? Sure, I’ve found ways for them to play together while maintaining their distance, but it’s not he same. A lot of learning beyond the curriculum happens at school, especially socially, and it just makes me wonder.

I came across an incredible post by Christine Derengoski on Facebook in which she brilliantly shares the struggles of her first grade son. Her response was one that I feel every parent should read, and should reiterate to their own children: they are superheroes and are doing something that no other children have ever done before.

I said, “Do you know that no kids in the history of kids have ever had to do what you’re doing right now? No kids in the history of kids have ever had to do school at home, sitting in their bedroom, watching their teacher on a computer. You and your friends are making history.”

A visible weight lifted from his seven year old shoulders, “What does that mean?”

I told him it means I haven’t given him nearly enough credit for rolling with the punches. I told him how proud I am of him and his friends. That kids this year are doing the impossible and they’re doing a really great job.

It’s true. Kids are doing an incredible job. And no matter how resilient they are and how easily they are adapting to these challenging times, I think we need to start remind them of how amazing they truly are.

And in that, perhaps we will open the door for some deep, powerful, and important conversations about how this pandemic is impacting them. And maybe this can make all of the difference in helping kids come out of this healthier and happier.

Your kids, my kids, our kids, are all superheroes. Let’s make sure they know it.

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