Coronavirus and Kids: What We Are Modeling Matters

As many parents scramble to download homeschooling materials, online educational resources, and sanity-saving home activities, let us consider the greatest lesson this generation of children will learn during our time of self-isolation…

How to handle crisis.

As adults living in this unprecedented time, we have an obligation to model for today’s kids what it looks like to walk through uncertainty, fear, and unparalleled restriction. Whether you are a parent yourself doesn’t matter.  Everywhere you go – the local grocery store, the doctor’s office, your workplace – kids have their eyes wide open, taking in our words, our attitudes, and, most importantly, our actions.

What they see us doing, or not doing, is forming their future response to the world around them.

Do we want the next generation to be disingenuous with their time, money, or resources? Then stop hoarding toilet paper.

Do we want our nation’s children to disrespect authority, ignore warnings, or buck the system? Then stop going on unnecessary vacations amid travel warnings.

Do we want the young around us to be easily shaken, distrusting, and fraught with anxiety and stress? Then stop obsessing about the latest headlines while wringing your hands over things you can’t control.

If we want the youth of today to grow up to love well, have courage, and extend to those in need, then we need to model that now. Checking on those around us, giving some of what we have, supporting the vulnerable, and respecting the fragility of others are simple steps we can take. By sharing age-appropriate news with our children, we have an opportunity to explain, in a calm way, about the events happening around them and how it affects children around the world, not just those that live next door. Help them spot the good guys, the helpers, who are doing brave work in our communities; brainstorm ways you can partner with them or pray for their safety. Be loving and kind – towards the stranger at the store and to one another.

In these once-in-a-lifetime kind of days, we can teach our kids one of life’s greatest lessons of all…it’s not all about us – our comfort, our security, or our happiness. Let’s be the kind of adults we hope our children grow up to be. 


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