HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!
by Jim R. Rogers, M.Ed., CFLE Emeritus
Families Staying Strong
Together. Like we have never been before. Together as a country, a state, a community and most importantly…together as a family. Being together as a team is the best way to win.
The Coronavirus is here, and here to stay for a while. No magician will make it go away, no pill will stop it, and only our leaders and we the people will pave the way back to a new normal.
During this undeterminable time, our family structure, the very foundation of our society will be challenged. We rarely spend this kind of time “staying home”, “sheltering in place”. Together. Even during the summer months when children are home, other members of
the family are elsewhere.
So, how do we make this isolation work? Family leaders are the most important in keeping the unit safe and sane, and role model for younger ones, including adolescents.
But, before we leaders ever open our mouths, we need to get our emotions and facts in check. If we are feeling fearful and anxious, children will know it even if we don’t verbalize it. So we need to process our own feelings before talking to others so we can talk in a calm, confident and honest way. Most children really don’t know what’s happening so the main message is “my job is to keep this family safe and I need the help of each of you to do it.”
Together, develop a plan. Do not just “hang out” or vegetate. Truly bond and get to know each other. Make a schedule, with each member having certain tasks, organize activities and duties, parents may work from home, children may do school work from assignments, all may engage in fun things, games or arts and crafts, play outside, walk, exercise, watch movies or television together. Take on-line guitar lessons. Get to tasks you’ve been putting off like cleaning out the attic, organizing pictures in albums. Cooking lessons!
Family planning by all!
Limit news sources to one or two you trust and stay away from horror stories and anxiety producers. TV news and shows in particular. If your child already has an anxious temperament or has special needs or too young to understand, it is especially important what you say
and how about the pandemic.
All children will definitely realize that something is all out of kilter, and will ask a lot of questions. Find out what they already know. How much should we share? We don’t want them guessing, so knowing your child and their ability to understand, tell them what they need to know, what they specifically ask about, not about all the negative possibilities. They don’t know all the facts, but caregivers should, and stay informed deciding what the rest of the family needs to hear. The internet is loaded with all kinds of entertainment and information, like hand washing, sneezing, and being aware of asymptomatic conditions and what to do about them. Find what you need.
Help others. Teach empathy. Be kind, patient, and understanding.
Acknowledge the fears and provide positive hope. Don’t downplay their feelings. Some children are naturally optimistic or pessimistic, calm or anxious. Accept them for who they are, what they are like, and meet them there, reassuring them however you can.
This can apply to adults as well.
Visual reminders and explanations can be very effective helping to calm and reduce fears. I recommend a visual comic from several experts that you can find at
Be careful what you promise.
“Don’t let the future steal your present.”
Remember that “heart” means “courage.” This is the perfect time to
say to you as I always do…
Don’t lose heart!
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MAY 2020 For Waccamaw Publishers
ParentsCare by Jim R. Rogers,
M.Ed., Parenting and Family Life Educator
All The Praise They Deserve.
In this unprecedented time, often used, and rightly so, are people identifiers, like essential worker, front line heroes, first responders, and the risk takers, for example.
We have never been as aware of who they are, what services they provide and how critical to our ways of living. Maybe our attitudes will change after we become dramatically aware of all that our fellow humans do, too often for menial reward. The grocery clerks, the pharmacy assistants, the garbage collectors, the delivery folks. They are many. You know them.
The NY Times reports that one-in-three jobs designated essential are done by women, an unseen labor force that keeps the country running and takes care of those most in need. That’s 77% women.
When was the last time we said, “Thanks”?
May is the month we traditionally recognize our mothers. Happy Mothers Month! What a perfect time to put women, and mothers in particular at the top of the essential worker list. Many mothers are the glue that holds a family together socially, emotionally, healthfully, supported by many newly-aware fathers. But it’s the Moms who multitask, manage the various to-do lists, wash the clothes, cook the meals, chauffeur the children ad infinitum…they are on the front lines of the basic units of our society.
These Mothers are the best of us.
After this novel virus relents what will we have learned? What will it have done to us as people and families, as workers, and members of a global society? Will we go back to what was before?
Mothers are the essential workers who will lead the change, keeping some old family ways that worked well, guiding new more effective ways to be together. How will we treat each other? In what ways will Moms have shown us growth in hard times…expanded points of view, taught more about gratitude, and widened the circle of caring and compassion, where relationships are not us vs. them, but rather, we are all us and them.
Most Mothers are up to the task! They have the capacity to create closeness, show patience, be present and accounted for as kind and generous members of community.
Moms help us to remember how strong we are, how to grow closer and more loving, recognizing the pain that the front line angels feel as they hold out their lives for others…Angel Pain, I call it. Moms know angel pain, too, those who go about their chosen tasks of taking care of family every day, not considering it a sacrifice but an honor.
It’s not going to be easy, but we will rebuild, rededicate, revalue and do the repair work that needs to be done. This country and its citizens can unify and return us to a place of pride, stability and safety.
Mothers of our families will be out front, holding us together in our efforts. It is so vital to the emotional health of the family that parents go the extra miles to keep it all together and maintain as much normalcy as possible.
I have great admiration and respect for you Moms. Frankly, I don’t know how you do it as well as you do. Please give yourself a large pat on the back and feel warm appreciation from lots of others for raising our next generations well.
Let’s add another day of celebration to our calendars…and call it, “Essential Workers Day!” Mothers will be our model.
George Eliot wrote, “What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult to each other?” Mothers know that. Thank you. And…
Don’t Lose Heart
Jim R. Rogers, M.Ed., CFLE Emeritus