By Lisa Crouch
Children and families continue to face isolation, and challenges abound with the pandemic continuing. Mental health for all ages has been impacted on some level. As we approach the one‐year anniversary of “flattening the curve” to slow the virus down, some may be feeling like this will never end. So, how can we face this year with hope and a plan to keep our families moving in the right direction?
A good place to start is with the February issue of Brethren Benefit Trust’s WellNow newsletter, featuring children and the pandemic. If you haven’t seen it, you can find it here: www.cobbt.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/WellNow%21%20Feb%202021%20-.pdf.
BBT provides some great information for parents and some questions to ask your children about how they are feeling. It is so important to keep your children talking. Start a new game at dinner that sparks conversation, like “What did you find challenging today?” or “What was good for you today?” Then be prepared to talk through their answers. This can be monumental in developing healthy mindsets.
As families seek out a new sense of normal, keep looking for ways to create new traditions as a family that fit within social distancing guidelines. I saw a challenge to reach 1,000 hours outdoors in 2021. I love this idea–and even if we fail to get 1,000 hours, just think of the fun we will have trying!
What kind of challenge can you do as a family? The longterm effects of the pandemic on children will be stretching far beyond what we can see now, but we can create a path through this “wilderness” that may just bring some of your best memories yet as a family.
— Lisa Crouch is associate director of Children’s Disaster Services, a program within Brethren Disaster Ministries.
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