My two questions…
Q 1. What’s really important for children right now?
Q 2. What will children remember?
I’m also very concerned about the pressure on families; those with jobs and those without. The challenges are enormous and require us to draw on our own life skills and to acknowledge our own feelings and levels of stress.
This line of thinking has been in my head as our teaching teams have been pondering how we support families, particularly children staying at home, in term 2. My over-riding concern is that any suggestions, links and ideas for experiences we may communicate with you are viewed as possibilities and not requirements.
The pyramid above summarises my interpretation of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in relation to children in these restricted times. My driving reason for sharing this pyramid is for families to see how much they are doing in keeping their children safe and to keep a realistic perspective about what can be provided at the moment. The focus in each tier will be different for everyone. Some may be spending their energy on the bottom two tiers and for others those needs will be secure enabling them to be thinking of the tiers further up the pyramid.
Keeping a roof over your head and food on the table may be all some families can think about. Considering what new knowledge you could be offering children is not worthy of a single guilty thought. Everything in good time.
This brings me back to my two questions.
What’s really important for children right now? Every parent will be assessing what’s really important for their own child/ren. How do you work it out? Listen! Listen! Listen! What are they telling you or what is their behaviour telling you? Maybe your child needs a reassuring cuddle with acknowledgement that things are a bit tough at the moment and we’ll solve problems together. Maybe other discussions could help: how everyone can help or what being flexible means or what we are grateful for.
What will children remember? This could be a time for great stress and uncertainty for parents however maybe there will be some positives for children. They may be loving having mum and/or dad around so much more than usual or having a slower pace of life.
The bottom line for me is for families to take a realistic look at what they can do at the moment, take the pressure off and find moments of joy.
This could be a time for re-connecting and finding possibilities in the simple things!