Learning from the Pandemic – Help your Children Be Their Own Architect
The pandemic has been incredibly tough, and continues to be so. People across the globe are still suffering tremendously from the effects and the fall out. So the last thing I would want to do is trivialise the situation with pointers for how a little more “self work” could make everyone better off. But what I would like to focus on is what this period of tremendous uncertainty has taught me about how we can enable our children to help themselves in a constantly changing world.
A lot of us have taken the last few months to look within ourselves to see what’s really important. And identify what is less so. We’ve looked at where our priorities lie and where our energy is spent. For many, it’s been a journey of self discovery. But it’s also been a tough journey mentally; of just getting through each day, not knowing when a pre-pandemic ‘normality’ will ever return.
Be Your Own Architect
Over the past few months, I have done some “self work” and reflection (which, looking back, probably couldn’t have happened at a better time). The main theme I have taken away from this is the idea that you are your own architect. Very often, we look to others (or to an external source) for pleasure, relief, stability and peace of mind. The problem is that when these external sources disappear, we are lost. It is much harder to look within yourself for the answer. But it’s a lot more rewarding too.
As a parent, my natural instinct was to help my daughter by solving her problems for her. From little white lies, to talking to a teacher, to switching plans because they didn’t suit. I realised however that, in the long run, what this teaches my daughter is that someone else will fix her problems. It doesn’t give her the tools to fix them for herself. I sincerely hope that we will never experience a pandemic like this again. However, if we do, I would not want my daughter to feel unable to cope because the world as she knows it has changed. I would want her to adapt.
Coping in a Pandemic – It’s Time to Adapt
So this is what we try to do now. We’ve adapted! For example, some of her after school classes have been done online (with Mummy joining in sometimes to make it more fun!). We’ve explained that other activities she used to enjoy just can’t happen. But we’ve taken that time to do other fun things. We’ve gone on more walks and have done more crafts. More importantly, we discuss problems and ensure that she has the tools to fix them herself.
I try my hardest to not be “mummy-fix-it” all the time. My daughter is 7 so her problems, even though they are huge to her, are still relatively innocent. Older children will of course have different issues. But the aim is the same; to not let them be reliant on you to solve every issue.
Exercise with them. Cook with them and talk about the ingredients used. Educate them. Listen to them, do not belittle them. Discuss their problems and help them find a solution. Do not ‘save’ them. Make suggestions, talk from experience, give them guidance but not all the answers, all of the time. Give them the tools to be flexible, adaptable, and to be the architects of their own lives. This will be the best gift you can ever give them.
As the founder of Lift Off Kids Academy, Coach Anne Lise knows only too well how to get the best out of children, and not just from a fitness perspective. She places a big emphasis on building confidence, self esteem and resilience too. If you’d like more information about her fitness classes, just email us here. You can also follow us on insta.