It is said that in every disadvantage, there is an advantage. And that in every circumstance there is a benefit. These inspirational sayings have proved themselves to be true during this COVID-19 period. As some businesses register losses, others gather in profits. While some people lost their jobs, many found better paying ones. Factories were shut down and the poisonous gases they emitted were put on hold. Animals that went into hiding in order to avoid human predators came into the open and took over streets, roads and beaches. In fact, like someone said, the planet Earth is healing itself through COVID-19.
Coming to the human world, a lot of families took the period of the lockdown to “meet” their members. Before the Corona Era, most parents wake up early in the morning and “run-off” before their children wake-up and then come back late at night when the children must have gone to bed. Even busy spouses did not have time to know each other because they hardly stay at home together. But as Corona came, everyone was forced to take a break and look around him or her. The Corona Era is indeed a time for several positive, as well as negative, changes.
Among the people that benefited much from this era are the children. Even as adults worry about children not going to school, they (the children) were home enjoying themselves. Most of these children are experiencing, for the first time in their lives, the joy of spending hours with their parents. Many of them are just experiencing what the term “holiday” truly means. Unlike before, when parents bundle their children away to one private lesson or another, the children now sit back at home from morning till night without the stress of learning in a formal environment. Believe me, if this lockdown continues for another two months or more, most children will not want to go back to school. We have actually saturated their brains with different forms of academic activities that they found the “holiday” experience exhilarating.
Specifically, the children benefited the following from this lockdown:
More Time to Play and Explore
Naturally, children are meant to play. In fact, they are supposed to learn through playing. But we have placed a lot of burden on their fragile shoulders and have turned most of them into miniature adults that they have not really known what it means to be children. Thank God for this illness, these children can now play to their satisfaction, explore their surroundings and “spoil” things like it’s expected of their age.
Learning More about their Environment
Many times, contents of an academic curriculum do not teach children everything they need to know about their environments and their places within the environment. This could be linked to the fact that curriculums are not tailored to meet specific needs of different environments. However, during this lockdown period, most children had the opportunity to read up materials that are outside the ones used in their schools and to ask trusted adults questions that have been bothering them. They found out a lot of things that they wouldn’t have been taught in school. They learnt things informally, which makes it more impactful.
Bonding with Parents
Parents were forced to stay back at home and therefore couldn’t help but enjoy their children. Permit me to say that many parents used this period to understand who their children really are. When the economy started to reopen, most mothers felt guilty leaving their children with their helps as they went back to work. This will just tell you how they have been able to bond with their children during the lockdown.
Resting and Sleeping
Sometimes I marvel at how my children could sleep till 9am these days. Ordinarily they wake up by 5.30am to get ready for school. Even during the short holidays, they find it hard to sleep till 7am because I have to wake them up early so I can sort them out and leave for work. But right now, they are resting; and it is good for their growth and development.
Eating Better Meals
I know that Indomie and other noodle companies will feel the impact of this lockdown. A friend of mine confessed that she now has ample time to cook a proper meal for her family. Before, parents find it easier to boil a pack of noodles or prepare a bowl of cereal for their children as breakfast and/or lunch. But that is not the case right now. To be honest, the aromas I perceive from my neighbours’ kitchens now suggest that our traditional foods are the order of the day.
I know that many parents have gone back to work and that the children are once again left with relatives and help. It is, however, necessary that these children be allowed to flex their muscles the more since schools may reopen anytime soon. No one knows how long the next term and the term after that will run. For that, let us allow these children to be children and enjoy all the benefits that come with being children.