It is hard being a parent and right now, with everything going on in our society, parenting is even harder.
Most of us know our kids need normalcy and consistency, and with schools and businesses shutting down, that has become incredibly challenging to create and maintain.
We used to have fun places to go to, classes to attend and, of course, good ol’ school.
Although, now we’ve been collectively asked to stay home or limit contact for the greater good of everybody. And while none of us want to get sick or cause our loved ones to get sick, we also have other competing priorities. We want to do things that lift our spirit and mood, and feel connected to a community (of some sort). I think this is one of the voids I felt a month into this whole mess—getting together with other parents and their kids doing regular, everyday fun things… Like we used to.
I, too, stayed home for a while and only went out for walks and bike rides, or the local grocery store. And after losing some of our play date friends, because they weren’t ready to get together, I started thinking out of the box about how I could create a playgroup. After isolating myself for about a month or so and feeling down as a result, I decided it was unhealthy for my daughter and me. Not to make light of the situation with the virus, but I realized that I could do this safely. We ventured to the dog park and did bike rides while I envisioned her and other kids being able to have normal play time again. Even though I have close friends, we can only get together every now and then because of work and kid schedules.
And although my daughter and I adjusted alright–meaning I poured a lot more of myself into her than ever before–I’m an extrovert for the most part and need to socialize with other people, too. Plus, I could tell she needed more than mommy to play with.
So, I created the Corona-Norco-Eastvale playgroup. To bring those who want to get out and about so their kids can play. And now with a lot of schools being closed and more people homeschooling, finding these groups where you can bring your kids is so vital. Kids are not made to be isolated at home without any social outlet.
If you’re curious, here are a few benefits other parents and I have experienced as a result of this:
1. Our kids are more joyful, and therefore less fearful and anxious. Having regular play time with kids or being around other kids while playing by themselves or with a parent, allows them to work out negative stuff from our adult world they are exposed to. And it fosters their imagination. Because to a great extent, our adult world can be intimidating for them (even without a “pandemic” going on). So, when they are around other kids, they get a reprieve from the adult world and get to immerse themselves in their child-like world. This helps heal their nervous system and brain from the onslaught of all the changes and limitations going on right now, which can increase their ability to be resilient now and in the future.
2. Our kids have an easier time approaching other kids and being open or receptive to other kids in social settings. This is essential for their overall well-being, not only in the present, but also for their future. Of course, if they’re naturally shy or more of an introvert, that can be worked with, too. However, in general, the more frequently they’re around other kids, and create special friendships and bonds, the more secure and confident they will be. And seeing their parents socializing and hanging out allows them to feel free to do the same. And this translates to their ability to learn and even behave. Because the more secure they are, the more they’ll learn. Sadly, limited contact with other people leads to fear and anxiety of other people and a host of other challenges.
3. Our kids demonstrate leadership capabilities and their unique personality traits come out more. Playing and being carefree gives them more opportunities to cultivate and express their unique personality traits. It also helps them see how other kids are different and similar, which is so important for their development. This can also create a positive situation where likeable traits are recognized and mimicked. And any negative ones can get worked out with parental intervention and assistance.
I personally have witnessed my daughter and her friends bond and be more resilient, which is such a blessing with everything going on in the world. And my hope is that it will continue and imprint on them for the future. So, they will be leaders and not give in to fear but be safe and secure in who they are. Now and into the future.
Curious how you can join? Click here.