Posted by Aaron Mowell on 2/26/2021 10:05:00 AM
It has been just a year since we became aware of a new COVID-19 virus and the first few cases here in America. Since then, we have gone through a flurry of changes implementing new practices and protocols. From learning new technologies, like Zoom to effectively work remotely, to what social distancing is like, and everyone eager to find new ways to connect amid physical separation. We all saw world leaders, local and state governments, and our schools react in various ways to address growing concerns and increase precautions for what became a global pandemic. Many effects are yet to be known, as we are still in this crisis, though some will be long-term.
We saw cities and schools initially respond to the pandemic with different perspectives. Early on there were strict limits on the number of people who could gather in public places, restaurants only providing take-out, and schools transitioning to remote learning. Then eventually protected face-to-face interactions were more allowable, and in-person instruction restarted, though what that means for everyone now is very different. To a child, all these changes may seem sudden and unsettling.
Those in our younger generation are surely watching in wonder the countless responses to the current pandemic, and certainly must be pondering - “What is the correct response?”
For families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing, you may be asking:
Who is doing the right thing?
How do I know what I am doing is helping?
How do I talk with my child about this?
What we can do as families is open a dialogue with our children and begin a discussion on what responses seem right or wrong. As parents, the power and opportunity to open a discussion with your child about the country, state, and city’s response to COVID-19 is yours. You might talk about the different responses seen in other communities or other countries. See what your child thinks is successful, and ask why. Give your child ownership by allowing them to lead the discussion and challenge them to share what they might do if they were in charge of addressing this, or the next, pandemic. As many of us know, the effectiveness of various responses may not be known until years of study have been done. Until then, in any such uncertain times, having open discussions can only help our children better understand the thought processes behind many of these events. Speaking frankly among family helps us all process new events and changes around us. Our children are watching and learning from us. Hopefully what we do and how we learn to face adversity as adults, will also help them to increase their coping skills and expand their world knowledge.