Parenting means you’ll do your best to prepare your child for a faith, moral, and productive life as an adult. For this purpose you rely on your own mistakes, experiences, and advices from your own parents, from schools, from your community of faith. All these couldn’t prepare us for parenting during a pandemic.
This time of quarantine is keeping us in shelter with our beloved ones all the time. Boredom mixes with fear, and uncertainties. There is anxiety to keep schedules, and even though there is plenty of time, there is still not enough time to do all the things we need/want to do.
We deal with our own emotions. We need to deal with our kids’ emotions. We are tired. We are overwhelmed. We have financial concerns. We yearn for normalcy. We are scared.
Amid this situation we –as parents, need to train our children and they are observing and learning from us. They have questions we don’t know how to answer. We are unprepared. We feel inadequate.
I even find myself missing my dad deeply with a desire for his words of “we have seen this before. This too will pass. This is how we dealt with it, then. This is how we felt about it.” I cannot find reassuring words from my earthly dad, but I always find reassuring words from my Heavenly Father.
Yes, there is chaos, uncertainties, doubts, concerns, fear, anxiety, unusual meals; but we still can train our kids –with our words and our example, on where to seek God’s wisdom. Where to find true hope, a meaningful purpose in life that is independent of our circumstances. How to find resilience and perseverance in Christ. How to find comfort, forgiveness, and peace in tearful prayers. How to count God’s blessings and be thankful for them.
This can be the time when we can give our children the most important abilities and talents to live. Those that can only be taught at home and at church. Our children (and us) will have the fondest memories of this time, when they didn’t need to compete with many other issues for our attention. When there was time and space for conversations, games, and fellowship.
“Lord, we lift up to you all the children on this Earth. Those children in our communities as well as those on refugee camps. You are at work shaping their minds and souls, may this experience bring them close to you. We also pray for overwhelmed parents, please give them patience and peace of mind. Reassurance that they are the best parents their kids could have. We trust you are making families and societies more empathetic and loving. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.”
6 Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it. (ESV)