I taught a series of classes recently on the theme of Becoming a Soulful Parent and one of the comments from the participants stopped me in my tracks. He felt like this was a year in which he wasted so much time. There is so much more he could have accomplished. He could have learned a new language or perfected an instrument. He could have encouraged his children to do the same. There was regret in his voice and nods from other parents in the group who identified with what he shared.
I think many of us lament the lost opportunities of this Covid year. We are concerned with the ways in which our children might not be keeping up with their school work. We may cringe as we see how easily they switch from attending their classes to watching YouTube videos. Some of us may be dealing with taking care of the heightened levels of anxiety our kids are experiencing at not meeting their own expectations.
And while there will be tons of research written about this period and the impact that it has had on our children and their learning, my hope is that there will be some research about what they did learn over these past long months. I think as parents, we learned these lessons well too.
Where I sit, my children are learning tons.
What they are Learning
- How to sharpen their emotional intelligence as they navigate the changing moods of their siblings and parents
How to create their own fun when so many of their extra-curricular activities have been canceled
A sense of humility, as many of us are living with less this year (both materially and in terms of opportunities)
How to live with disappointment
How to be flexible in sharing space in the house
How precious grandparents are and how much we cherish our time with them (on Zoom or through physically distanced encounters)
In Hebrew parent, horeh has the same root word as moreh, or teacher. Each parent has been a teacher and a guide in so many ways this year. Whether we know it or not. We are their guides in the deepest lessons of life.
Take a few minutes this week to think about the ways that you have been your child’s teacher.
- Think about your family. What is one life lesson from this time that is important for you to impart to your child?
- What is a way that you think that life lesson has come across to them?
- Over the next week, notice an opportunity for you to share that life lesson (more in actions than in words) with your child. It could be through scheduling a Zoom call with a grandparent, praising your child for their sensitivity to other people’s moods in the family, or anything else that is important to you.
Blessings for the journey,