I seem to be having a recurring conversation this month. Parents are concerned that their child is “falling behind.” At first, I spent most of the conversations reassuring parents that we are all trying to float on the same ocean during this pandemic. Then I realized that I didn’t have enough information. I really didn’t know what people were talking about when they were sharing their concerns. I was projecting more of my own fears about my kids missing out on a year of their young lives.
So I started to ask questions. For example, one parent told me that because their speech therapy had gone virtual they were only able to do one session per week instead of two. In asking questions though, I learned that the parents were also working remotely, meaning they were home more and able to spend more time directly with their children. Not necessarily during their workday, but during the time they would normally be commuting, for example.
As a result, they had more time to implement the techniques the speech therapist was encouraging them to use than they previously had been able to. Additionally, in some cases, the adults aren’t quite as tired (physically) as they are when we are all going about our normal running around. As a result, they have more patience and even more awareness of what is going on around them.
Since many of the “falling behind” scenarios were similar to this and since we are all trying to stay afloat on this same ocean of a pandemic, I remind parents (and myself) that we are doing the best we can. In many cases that may be better than we were doing before. We just don’t realize it because it is so different.
A reminder then to all my parent friends out there that we are living through a time like no other. Many of us have lost so many of the in-person experiences we are used to, but it does not mean that anything is less than. While I am excited to get back to many of the things I miss, like in-person sporting events and live theatre, I’ve had a really great time being able to try out new recipes, playing cards with my kids every day after dinner, and learning new crafts.
If our kids really are falling behind, which I don’t think they are, they are all falling behind together and they will all catch up together.