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Raising Kids Amidst The Pandemic

Parenting is a roller coaster ride even in the best of situations. Coupled with the challenges of a pandemic, the questions and insecurities related to parenting reaches a new height.

Parenting is a roller coaster ride even in the best of situations. Coupled with the challenges of a pandemic, the questions and insecurities related to parenting reaches a new height.

S says: Lately pandemic is all I can think about. You might think it would have gotten old by now but it has been here for more than a year after all. Yet every day brings more news… I keep scanning for good news, but there just isn’t anything.

At least here in India, the situation gets grimmer and grimmer every day. Those of us, lucky enough to be able to be stuck at home instead of having to venture out for work every day, moan and groan how boring and tedious every day is. The sameness is getting to all of us.

I can’t help but compare our situation to World War 2 when Anne Frank (and others like her) were forced into hiding…unable to leave their houses for years… At least there are no air raids and bombings where we are. Then they say the third wave is coming…it has echoes of the Third Reich.

I don’t know…maybe I am being overdramatic. But it seems no less than a war against an invisible enemy.

And then there’s my daughter growing up in the middle of all this. She watches too much TV, and I let her do it. She plays too many computer games, and I let her play.

She asks for pizza way too many times, just to break the monotony and I let her eat. At night as she sleeps, I worry if being home all day just with adults, is the light in her eyes slowly getting dimmer?

How will she adjust with other kids when the time comes? With all the online learning she is doing, is anything really sinking in? What memories will she carry of this strange time when she grows up? Tell me R, am I worrying too much? Will the kids be all right once this blows over?

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R says: The optimist in me S, is always tempted to say that it will all be fine; and that challenges always bring about important learning which we can’t imbibe otherwise.

Difficult times sharpen facets of one’s personality which might get rusted otherwise.

After all, there could not have been a Gandhi or an Anne Frank without enduring what they did.

However this time around, I see that optimist has questions every now and then. The ‘invisible enemy’ has brought about fear; fear of human interaction.

Fear of physical proximity with other people. For the little time my son went to school in the past year, he used to say that they are not allowed to ‘sing’ the National Anthem.

More chances of the virus spreading. Now that he is back to online school, and when the teacher plays ‘O Canada’ he refuses to sing.

And that’s when I wonder, that, will this pandemic leave with serious dents in our mental and emotional health, even when it is long behind us.

For years up to March 2020, I had successfully kept him away from the screen, engaged him enough with activities that he never missed one per se. And now, the amount of time he spends in front of a phone or a tablet for non-school stuff, would give the pre-pandemic me an anxiety attack.

However, now, I just let him be. My consolation is, there are bigger things to worry about. During the pre-COVID-19 period, there was a list of activities that he had to do; he had to be enrolled for and so on.

Now, the two of us spend hours sometimes singing songs on the Karaoke app, just because there is nothing else to do. Kids are resilient they say; they don’t lose the light in their eyes that easy. However, aren’t they impressionable too?

Will this lack of hope and constant fear rub them the wrong way, for the rest of their lives? We don’t know and can’t tell as this entire situation is a first for us, first for them. And yes, thank goodness we don’t have air raids and bombings S, and nor are we in ‘concentration camps.’ Nonetheless scenes and snippets of the movie ‘Life is Beautiful’ always run through my head and as much as we can, we try to make it fun and peppy in the house. Keep the vibes as positive as we can…

Image source: An image from Pexels

 

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About the Author

R&S

We are an author duo who love writing together. We have written a couple of books together, Tete a tete with R&S and Anu and Isha. read more...

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