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Photo Credit: Purnima Jha

I was going through pages of a treasure book that lets parent write letters for their child. It is designed like a paper time capsule that your child will open in future. One particular page made me stop and ponder. The title of the page was: ‘The world I want to give you’.

Each of us might have different thoughts, opinions or philosophies on what we want to leave behind for our children. But one thing that connects all parents, that acts as a common thread between us, is that we all want our child to be happy. We don’t want any difficulty, obstacle, or grief to come their way. But the journey of life is meant to be bumpy, with lots of ups and down.

This COVID situation has changed our lives dramatically and left us with a lot of life lessons: it tells us parents, specifically, to make our children strong, resilient, and optimistic. The history of this world has seen many natural calamities but coronavrius is the first viral outbreak of this nature and scale in our lifetime. Given the situation, children need to know how to be patient and solve problems on their own. They need to learn that things will change with a blink of eye and you need to know how to survive in the changed world. They need to know that we need to stand for each other.

3 R’s of Helping Children Cope Emotionally with COVID-19

The educator in me yearns to put this down in a structured manner. As a strong advocate of teaching life skills to children, here are some of those that are important in the current times.

Critical thinking :

Ability to think in an organized and rational manner in order to understand connections between ideas/events/ facts

Creative thinking :

Ability to look at problems or situations from a fresh perspective

Managing emotions :

Ability to express and manage our emotions in an appropriate way

Effective communication :

Ability to express ourselves, both verbally and non-verbally, in ways that are appropriate to our cultures and situations

WHO has put together a comprehensive list of skills for children 

The take away is, that while educating your child, think of whether this is going to help them face difficulties, challenges and changes in life.

Here is my message to my son-

The world that I want to give you is happy, fun, filled with love. But dear, I know things will not be the same always. So, I want to give you skills that will stay with you for life. When there is darkness around, you will have light of hope. When there are obstacles around, you will think of how to solve it. When you are alone and no one around, you will know to trust yourself.

When you are locked down in a COVID-19 like situation, you will thank God that you have a roof above you for shelter, food to eat and a family to lean on. You will learn to count your blessings. When that day comes my son, think of how you can make others happy. You have to create happiness and love around you. Don’t wait for other to do it for you. This is all, that your mom wants you to know. Love you always!

What is your message for your child?

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