While Covid-19 has presented a multitude of challenges for families, it has also created opportunities for families to grow, bond and create together. Within the bubbles of many homes, great things are taking place. We reached out to you to hear your uplifting stories. Here are 10 of our takeaways and some hope for the future.
(If you would like us to add your uplifting thoughts and experiences to this blogpost, please fill out this survey or comment below)
1. Families are Creative & Imaginative
Sometimes boundaries are the catalyst for creation. Here are some fun things you all did with your families during isolation:
- Traveling the world from home by creating meals or doing crafts from various countries
- Learning dance steps together
- Doing intricate puzzles
- Writing or performing songs
- Trying out some of our Imagination Station ideas
- Holding in-home scavenger hunts
- Coming up with family cheers & handshakes
- Doing your own family olympics
It has been a joy to share our international experience with our kids through home cooked meals, dances & songs. We hope to sometime take them with us in real life, pretend travel has been a beautiful adventure.
2. Families are Resilient & Adaptable
The unmet expectations due to the covid-19 pandemic have piled high for your families, but you have risen to the occasion and helped your families adapt in new ways. Here are some examples:
- Celebrating a wedding via technology
- Doing drive-by graduation celebrations
- Keeping a family list of everyday gratitudes
- Taking the time to teach your children about choice
- Finding ways to advocate for your children with new education expectations
I knew my child loved preschool, but until I became the teacher I didn’t realize that she could already read so fluently. I hope to be more involved in her education throughout her life.
3. Families Connect as they Slow Down
When suddenly there is nowhere to go and no appointments to keep, there was a beautiful opportunity to slow down and be more mindful. Instead of racing around town, here are some things your families took the time to do together:
- Cloud watch
- Catch bugs
- Fly a Kite
- Do yoga together
- Camp in the backyard
- Snuggle in a hammock
- Have late night chats about everything and nothing
I had gotten into the habit of filling my children’s lives with entertainment galore. I don’t think I realized how entertaining it would be to lay down and watch the sky together with no time limit.
4. Families Utilize Technology for Good
Something that we found interesting in many families is that the walls of distraction seemed to fall. Even though “screen-time” may have gone up, Intentional technology use drew you together rather than apart. Here are a few examples:
- Watching new movies together at home
- Doing online meetings with family members all over the world
- Playing video games together rather than separately
- Helping kids with homework & connecting with teachers online
We always loved when we had the chance to visit our grandparents, but didn’t think often to call them. That is now front of mind. We call and send messages much more often than we did before.
5. Sibling make Great Friends
While there were guaranteed to be some nerves hit between family members during the COVID-19 pandemic, you also saw many beautiful bonding moments. Here are some examples:
- A sibling teaching their younger sibling to walk
- Siblings filling in as prom dates
- Choreographed sibling dances & songs
Our older child has been able to be there for all of the big moments of our baby’s development (rather than being out and about constantly with friends).
6. Families Bond in the Outdoors
Not everyone around the world has been blessed with the ability to venture outside, but for those who did – the appreciation grew deeper. Here are some ways that you enjoyed the outdoors together:
- Many family hikes
- Going fishing
- Hanging out in a hammock
- Having Picnics
- Riding Bikes together
We’ve always neglected our yard in favor of “busy” activities. When all of our trips got cancelled, we instead worked on making our backyard a vacation. We love having a tiny slice of paradise right outside our backdoor.
7. Families Help Each Other Turn Outwards
One of the most beautiful things was seeing you go beyond the troubles in our own families and think of the world-wide sacrifices and sufferings during the covid-19 pandemic. Here are some ways that has happened in your families:
- Going out on the balcony to clap and cheer for health workers each night
- Choosing to stay home and forego outings to protect others
- Praying and/or fasting together for others who were suffering
I’ve had my ups and downs with religion, but praying together for others we have never even met has been really unifying for our family. We feel more connected to the world as a whole.
8. Families Serve Together
As your families turned outward, you also found ways to serve others during covid-19 in very real ways. Here are a few examples:
- Sewing facemarks together for essential workers
- Writing kind notes & delivering treats to neighbors
- Drawing inspiring pictures with chalk on your sidewalk
- Sharing your extra toilet paper and other necessities with others
Drawing with chalk has been a fun activity to do as a family while also helping us feel like we are inspiring our neighbors while they go for a walk or bike ride.
9. Family History Unifies Families
A skill many of us put off because there isn’t enough time, became a common connecting thread. Here are some ways you learned about your family history:
- Calling grandparents or parents more often
- Researching your family tree
- Reading ancestors journals or writing in your own
The Coronavirus has been a very emotional journey. Journaling has been therapeutic. Our children are too young to write their own journals, so we have been sharing our thoughts with them in a little journal we can give to them when they are older. We hope they remember this time as a time we were there for them.
10. Families Can Heal
It would be ignorant to say that the time during the covid-19 pandemic has been all sunshine and roses. There have been many many challenges for and within families. However, with many of those challenge also came some very beautiful healing. Here some some examples:
- Talking to and forgiving a family member you haven’t spoken to for years
- Honoring the memory of a loved one who passed during the pandemic in new ways.
- Having the space & time to sit with yourself and some of your inner struggles in ways that prompted healing inside yourself and within your families.
I think all of the struggles the world is facing right now, opened my heart to just how vulnerable and imperfect everyone is. Me included. That realization has left room in my heart for some family members I have been more closed to.
Hope For The Future
We also asked you to tell us what you hope will change for the future of your family. Here are a few thoughts on what the hope for the post covid-19 pandemic is:
- A hope that we will be able to maintain boundaries on and for our family-time (especially in regards to work-life balance).
- A hope that slowing down can be the new normal. When someone in the family is sick, you won’t need to worry about losing your job or failing a class to stay home and recover or care for a sick family member.
- A hope that society will care less about makeup and more about making lasting relationships.
- A hope that we will never again take for granted a hug, a handshake, or a family party.
A Poem (Written June 1,2020 in the wake of Covid & #BLM)
Lost for words
Our voice feels small
What pebble can we toss in
That will matter at all?
But if we don’t toss it in,
Will anyone know
We stand on the banks
And not just for show?
It’s not really standing
we came here to do
We came here to kneel,
And maybe plead too.
Really, how can we expect
To kneel before our Maker
if we procrastinate solidarity
with our human family until later?
We came here to kneel –
Not on the backs of the “others”
Rather, to kneel hand in hand
With our parents, sisters & brothers
When we look our Maker in the eyes
Will we mask our face in shame?
Or will He look in our eyes because
we’re masked for someone unnamed?
While we sit in our home
A bubble away from chaos
We’re privileged to breathe
With a mask without loss
So as we stand on the banks
With pebble in hand
We may not know how to jump in
But we seek to understand
We don’t care to go back to “normal”
When all this is through
We want to get right back up
And start things anew
A new strength in families
unity and equality for each
Actual respect and sincere care
A consistent habit of outreach
Wet from the baptism of a virus,
the ashes and flame
We know in the end
Things can’t stay the same
We know we will stumble
As we try with our might
But better to try
Than to hide from the light.
People need love and
Families need a stand,
But that ripple won’t happen
If it stays in our hand.
The following video is a great summary of many of your hopes. (Coriaria, llc is not affiliated with this video)
We will continue to update this blog post as we receive stories. Please consider contributing your story at this link or commenting below.
“Now to change the world – GO HOME AND LOVE YOUR FAMILY”