What do your kids think about the talk of reopening?
No matter where you live, a sense of reopening in some fashion seems around the corner. That news carries a host of emotions, including excitement, anticipation, fear, and worry.
You have the opportunity right now to start the conversation with your kids. Moments like these invite you to listen. Consider this — Your children have walked through the greatest pandemic of our lifetime. Imagine what would that would feel like for you at their age.
Robyn, my wife, and a mental health therapist mentioned this to me:
“Remember, our kids pick up on our anxiety or calm, help be a calming presence even in validating their fears and excitement.”
Robyn Englert, Mental Health Therapist
The warm weather of summer could signal a newfound hope, but reopening the uncertainty brings a new set of challenges.
As all of us make this shift, I wanted to provide you with a few questions you can start to ask your kids. Of course, these can vary with ages and personalities of your kids, but they can provide a good starting point for you: If you could wave a magic wand, what would you want to do?
Robyn recommended asking this question first. It keeps the conversation light, and you could find out a lot of what your kids think about reopening. Remember, you may not ask all these questions in one sitting, but this question becomes an excellent place to start.
What concerns you the most about reopening after the shutdown?
Often, we don’t know the anxiety and worry of our kids because we have not asked. This question allows us to check-in. Your kids may not have an answer, but it helps them know that they can come to you when they do.
What are you looking forward to about reopening?
We have walked through a shutdown since March. You have a golden opportunity to make memories with your kids. Discover what they would like to do within the regulations of reopening and phases. It could include getting out of the house more, restaurants to get take-out, places to go, etc.
Who would you like to spend time with under social distancing recommendations?
Your kids have friends and family that they have not seen. Now is an excellent time to start planning those visits with social distancing protocol. It will take more planning to get ready, but seeing people could make a significant difference.
What questions do you have for me?
Take a moment to find out the questions that they have. True, you may not have all the answers, but again these questions are about discovering what your kids think and feel. It’s ok not to know. All of us don’t know. What’s important is keeping the lines of communication open.
What questions have you asked your kids and found helpful? Share them in the comment section below.