Focus on your friends and family.
While introverts don’t need people to be their source of energy (unlike most extroverts), even they require human interactions. Physical isolation, while necessary right now, does not serve well when done for a long period of time.
Dread and uncertain further drives us into ourselves, which might lead to unhealthy coping strategies such as binge-eating, binge-watching the television, and more. Let’s teach our children to focus on others. Virtual hanging out, waving through windows over long walks, chatting on the phone, scheduled FaceTime calls, unscheduled FaceTime calls. Now is the time to reach out to others. Get your child to check in with their peers and extended family members. This reminds them that there is so much more to look forward to when this is over.
It is natural and also terrifying to imagine that the world as we know it is possibly changing. Almost everything we have built and cherished seems destined to change. Yet one thing remains – and that is human relationships. Attend virtual concerts. Tonnes of resources online have gone free (bless their hearts). It’s pretty incredible, when you stop and appreciate how amazing the human spirit is when we choose to hand each other’s back.
Focus on finding opportunities.
We are so accustomed to chasing more. Wanting more. Building more. As adults, we might fear the possibility of losing our jobs now, fear of having to close down our businesses, about losing our loved ones to this terrible virus. These are legit fears, and we should allow ourselves to acknowledge them, before seeking to find opportunities to re-build ourselves.
Similarly, our children too are experiencing a world of fears. Talk about it. Share a little of yours, and reassure them it’s human to fear. For non-vocal kids, help them find ways to express themselves. Then move onto the magic of seeking opportunities to overcome what we can control.
Focus on creating value.
Opportunities are instances for us to create value. How can they do something that creates value for themselves, their friends, their family, their community?
Focus on your progress.
We haven’t hit rock bottom – but the painful truth is, we have no idea how near or far we are from it. With absolutely no knowledge of where the light at the end of the tunnel is, it’s easy for both adults and kids to feel jaded, demoralised and unenthused to pursue opportunities.
Our mind, just like our body’s muscles, strengthens when we work against resistance. Start a journal, and encourage your child to keep one too. While we’re all in this together, you can’t help someone if you aren’t strong.
Encourage your child to chronicle their progress. Draw a progress chart, bring in your coloured pens, pencils, markers, watercolours, stickers. Let them decorate it to their heart’s content.
Focus on your gratitude.
It’s time to take stock of what we do have. A family? A parent? A sibling? A roof? Food on the table? Fresh air? Netflix? Spotify? Paper to plan our dreams? Tablets, laptops, computers? A comfortable bed? A spacious home? Get them to write these down.