How the 2020 Global Pandemic Affected My Children

submitted by Sarah Clarke, Media Strategist and Founder of Dufferin Media.

When the COVID19 Pandemic arrived in Canada in March my children were 17, 11, and 13.  Since the shutdown I celebrated 2 birthdays in quarantine and at the time I am writing this in June of 2020, I now have a 17 year old, a 12 year old and a 14 year old.  My children did not have a birthday party with their friends, and family was limited.  To be completely honest though, they were OK with this.  For my daughter’s 14th birthday I arranged a surprise zoom call with her friends and she had a driveway visit with her grandmother.  

To say that parenting during COVID has been a roller coaster would be an understatement.  Parenting teenagers in a blended household is difficult under normal circumstances.  Taking away their freedoms and their regular routines certainly has added many challenges.  That being said, I am grateful that in Ontario and in Canada our leaders swiftly acted and took measures to ensure our safety, and I am grateful that so far my family has not been touched by this deadly virus.  

HOW THE PANDEMIC HAS AFFECTED MY CHILDREN

NO SCHOOL

The schools were closed here after March break.  It was first announced before March break that the government of Ontario would close the schools for 2 weeks after March break, but obviously as the pandemic grew, the virus closed the schools here for the entire remainder of our school year, which would have ended this month in June.

Homeschooling and remote learning plans were quickly rolled out, as teachers and students alike had to adapt quickly to online learning.  I was lucky, my 3 children were pretty easily adapted.  Though we struggled with our slower internet because we live out in the country, overall the experience has not been too stressful.  I have friends that have had children that have not thrived during the homeschooling process.  I think the most important lesson here is that we are all doing the best we can and it’s okay not to be doing perfect at school work during this crisis.

NO FRIENDS

Quarantine meant an end to social life for the children.  No hanging out playing basketball, no sleepovers.  No playdates, going to the parks or any other activities. 

For my family because we live in the country I found this not as difficult as others living in higher population areas with friends right next door.  The children adapted to speaking to their friends on facetime and group chats, but it wasn’t the same.

I know this social impact was hard on my children as I’m sure it was for many others.

NO ACTIVITIES

Extra curricular or after school activities were all closed or cancelled.  Some very smart businesses quickly adapted and started to offer online activities.  My daughter who participates in cheerleading was able to have a “Zoom” practice once a week with her team.  Not the same, but a fun workout nonetheless.

Many children who look forward to sports, art, music and other after school activities really miss out during the shut downs.  This will take a toll both mentally and physically.  If you are a parent and you are still unable to send your child to a traditional activity I highly suggest looking for online activities.  Keep them busy and keep them learning. 

NO GRADUATION

The COVID19 has already taken such a toll on the World, and we still do not know what the final long term impacts will be.  But one thing is for sure an entire generation of children were robbed of their ultimate celebration – Graduation.  Both Grade 8s moving into highschool and those incredible Grade 12 grads who would normally be having awards ceremonies, dances and proms this year due to the Coronavirus, will not.  Some schools have postponed the ceremonies, others have adapted to limited ceremonies or even online.  This generation of grads is going down in History that’s for certain.

 

Overall I am grateful that my family has remained safe, healthy and adapted well to the events of this year so far. I’d love to hear what life has been like during COVID19 for your children.  Please comment below!

 

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