8 May 2020
The opportunity to reset as a family
How many times during lockdown have you said, “I wish we were back to normal?” “I can’t wait to get back to normal?” or perhaps your even saying, “I think it’s too soon to get back to normal” But what if our ‘normal’ wasn’t normal? What if that’s not the way we were designed to live as a family?
What if this is a perfect opportunity to reset our families?
It seems strange to me in any walk of life to ever ‘go back’, surely we are always meant to move forwards, always learning, always growing. I mean that’s why our feet move forward, one step at a time.
Is the constant grind of work, school, activities for kids, gym, coffee shops, whatever that was all that normal? Of course, our children have to go to school, most of us work, fun days out are also important, coffee shop visits are nice, it’s good for our children to go to other activities outside school but do we need ALL of them constantly in our weekly family routines?
I recall the week before lockdown, I was working in a school with a class of primary seven children. It was first thing in the morning and when I looked around the room it struck me that most of them wasn’t actually in the room with me. I could see some yawns and at that moment I asked the question, “How many of you are feeling tired this morning?” I wasn’t surprised to see that they all put their hands up. Then I continued, “How many of you couldn’t get the sleep last night?” Hands swept up across the room once again. Again I continued, “How many of you go to more than three activities outside of school every week?” My heart sunk when again most of the room put their hands up. Last question I asked, “How many of you don’t want to go to all of them?” Most children put their hands up.
This was a moment when I realised that we are too busy as families, lots of children go to so many activities that they are exhausted. I don’t think for a minute that this comes from a bad place of parenting I think the absolute opposite that parents are seeking experiences to develop their children, parents are spending time and money taking children to these activities which I do think is important but only the ones that children enjoy.
It’s brilliant that children get the chance to experience different activities but right now why not think; what are the activities that your child enjoys? Those are the ones to keep moving forward. The activities that allow your child to express who they are on a deeper level – BRILLIANT!
However, what are activities that you struggle to get your child out to each week, or the ones that you as a parent wish you could have done as a child so now you want to implement that onto your child which comes from a place of love. The problem with that is if it’s not their thing we are imposing an identity on them that’s not truly theirs.
Likewise, as a family unit, what are things you want to make changes in together, I know for me it’s more time at home to just be still, to chill out with no agenda for a full day every week, to play more board games together, spend less money, the list goes on.
Amid this pandemic that’s all around us, there is a true opportunity for us to press the reset button and move forward into a new routine, a more connected and rest family unit and not back to what we had.