It was really hard to tell Phoenix that we had to cancel her 7th birthday party last month. I know that there are bigger things going on in the world, and a lot of sacrifices being made, but in my little world this was a hard one for us. I tried to make the day special anyway, but birthdays are such a big deal for our little ones, and it was hard to tell my little girl that hers was going to be different this year.
Our kids are going through a lot. Missed birthdays, sure. But also missed school days, missed proms and graduations. Missed sleepovers and dates. Missed school plays and recess. Missed missed missed. As adults we are missing paychecks. Essential workers are risking their health. People are dying. It’s hard for everyone in bigger ways, but it’s also hard on our kids.
This is all for the best. It’s better to be safe at home. It’s better to flatten the curve and keep others safe, but that’s hard to explain to the kids. It’s important to allow them to have their feelings and to grieve their losses and misses while still understanding that being home is the right thing to do.
Acknowledging Their Feelings
We are allowed to feel sad about having to stay inside. So are our kids. I think it’s good to have an honest conversation about how much worse things would be if we weren’t taking the stay at home order seriously, but it’s also good to allow ourselves to feel upset. We need to talk to our kiddos about how they feel sad, how they miss their teachers, how much they want to hang out with their friends, and how resentful they may feel about all of this. Feel your feelings and get it out! Then, work towards finding the silver linings and positivity. I think it’s important that we don’t dismiss them or forget about them and their feelings in all of this.
It’s easy for me to get wrapped up in the scary numbers, worrying for our essential workers, keeping my business alive, helping other people, and the stress of teaching kids at home. But I need to remember what this looks like in my kids’ eyes as well. This must be such a big shift for our kids’ little worlds.
Making Them Feel Special
When Phoenix had to cancel her birthday, I worked hard to ensure her day was special anyway. We made pancakes with whipped cream and strawberries. We made triple layer chocolate cake. We had fun just the three of us to help make her feel special when something so important to her was taken away.
For the kids missing prom, graduation, big projects, dance recitals, soccer games, field trips, and other important events, the grief must be super difficult. You can try having an at-home prom, a backyard graduation, indoor dance recitals, or outdoor field trips to help fill the gap. Ask your teachers to call your kids. Chances are they miss them a lot, too, and that call can be super special for a kid missing their class. Ask them what special food they want for dinner. Have a camp out in the living room. There are a lot of ways to make our kiddos feel special, and they need it right now.
Times are hard for us as adults. I miss how things were. I miss seeing my friends, letting my kids go play with the neighborhood kids, meeting with my team, spending time with my boyfriend, and visiting my family. I miss not being too worried to go to the store. I miss travelling. I miss the work engagements that I had that were cancelled. I know my kids have their own things they miss, and even less control over their life than I do.
Our kids are so strong for missing all that they are missing. I can’t imagine how hard it is for them. All we can do is acknowledge how they feel and give them a little something special every now and again.
How are your kids handling life right now? Do you have any tips on helping your kids feel special?
Let’s share. Give hope. Choose love. 💖