“Why are we all a bit grumpy at the moment?” This question from my 8 year old walking back from an appropriately socially distanced kick the ball with his dad and brother (who live in the same household) in a suburban park (that has no play equipment, low likelihood of others being there, and if there did happen to be a child, instructions had been given, “do not play with other children”).
Hmmm..why are we all a bit grumpy?
In less than a week we have moved from a family of 4 who leave the house, enter their respective space of learning or earning, having our own fun “for me” time – be it music group, swimming lessons, starting soccer (oops football), book club with the gals, a drink with a mate..or dinner and cuddles with Grandma (with bonus sleepover if lucky!).
As the 8 year old raised the question, I thought I might see if he had an answer…. He did.
“There are not enough people to be friends with.” Again, on a roll, thought I’d check if he had any ideas for a solution. Yes. “Try and use technology in a useful way and face-time as much as possible.”
Within the core of his response is a recognition that his mum has had to adapt, quickly, to the changing context of parental decision-making. My – “NO WAY” to playing Minecraft with a friend online has morphed into, “What time limit should I set?” How to help my child remain connected to friends and enjoy “play” when physically distant has trumped my previous hardline. It needed to – for our kid, with his friends…
We are doing our best. We are not perfect. We get grumpy.
We are making decisions, without having “been there” before and sometimes having to readjust our previous firmly held ideals.
What hasn’t changed, is a commitment to providing a secure “home base” for our children. For them to know that they are loved, safe and respected. That we give them the structure they need, with the flexibility this crazy stage of parenting demands.
We will get grumpy, we will say sorry, we will try to be kind, patient and…listen.
I gave my 8 year old a huge hug….and we both didn’t feel too bad.