Getting Out and Doing Things
Midnight feasts, picnics under the kitchen table, using all those Amazon boxes to build a castle, sliding down the stairs in sleeping bags. What other activities did you do at home to keep kids amused during the lockdowns and you from going stir-crazy?
Fortunately, with socialising and hospitality back on the agenda (for now…), parents are keen to experience things with their children – beyond the kitchen and TV room.
Experiences also bring us together after various lockdowns. Instead of giving material things (which could be enjoyed at home whilst stuck inside), experiential gifts are popular amongst parents in 2022. The book you bought Jamie about Mary Anning over lockdown might have sparked his interest in fossils but a visit to the museum could inspire Jamie to become a palaeontologist…
As a former primary teacher, I’m confident we’ve barely seen the surface of the impact lockdown will have had on children. And I’m not just talking about the children who have challenging lives. Children in the happiest of homes missed out on social interactions and key developmental milestones and we’ll feel the repercussions of this in years to come.
So, understandably, there’s a big push to advocate for children’s mental health. Many schools and local authorities are working hard to support the mental health of kids (budget-dependent, sadly) whilst catching up on lost learning.
With this comes screen time. In many households, limits to the number of hours kids were “plugged in” were abandoned – “Let’s just get through the day!” but with normal life returning, those pre-pandemic rules are creeping back.
Whilst I advise parents to be mindful of the amount of time their children are using the Internet, a more proactive and modern approach is for parents to understand how their children engage with the digital world yet not encroach on their privacy. More on this in a future article, I reckon.