What About the Kids?

By Susan Kottler | September 21, 2020

I’m so proud of the children in my neighborhood. They understand the seriousness of the coronavirus epidemic. They wear masks and play with siblings and sometimes with one pod-mate. Though they have greatly missed other friends and activities, camp and school, they do not complain.

Here’s what I saw over the summer: big wading pools, scooters, bicycles, games of catch and soccer, families out for walks, sidewalk chalk drawing, kids walking dogs. In spite of the pandemic, working from home, and the extra work of being home with kids 24/7, parents put a lot of time and energy into keeping kids occupied and happy while everyone is more or less confined.


“On the street where you live”


We all do our best for our children, no matter the circumstances. Parents are juggling  work demands and childcare needs, with financial stress for many. Outdoor space can be limited. Availability of extended family help varies. Special needs kids might require more oversight. And we’re all living with fears of the invisible virus that could show up anywhere. Unfortunately, some parents can’t work remotely and sadly, they can’t be available as much as they would wish to be. They have to rely on other caretakers who they hope will help them smooth their children’s way through the pandemic.

How are parents keeping kids upbeat and engaged? They are maintaining a routine and sense of order in their homes, as well as trying to provide activities. Routine means that meals are on time, not haphazard, and that there’s a regular bedtime. Kids thrive on routine and structure, they love to know what’s coming next.

Following a routine gives families regular time to gather during mealtimes and bedtime. These moments are opportunities to talk over with kids how and why to stay safe and keep others safe, to answer children’s questions, and to acknowledge their fears and hopes. We need to speak honestly about present dangers and optimistically about the future.

So, kudos to the parents working hard to guide their children through a difficult time, and to kids who are doing their best to understand and adapt to a changing and challenging world!

Copyright © 2020 Susan Kottler
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  1. Mary Ray Cate, MD on December 17, 2022 at 7:51 pm

    This piece is a mini-course in how to be a good parent by someone who knows. Susan successfully raised three boys and appreciates the hard work and difficulties of parenting in our present situation. An upbeat report and exiting action photo! Thanks, Susan!

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