A Note for Parents 1 Month After School Closures

It’s been a month since schools across the country were told to close their doors.  That’s a month now that parents who are not key workers have had their children at home 24/7, becoming their children’s teachers as well as parents and in the meantime keeping these little ones entertained, safe and chasing away their fears at this troubling time.  It’s hard on those of us who may not all be used to having our children all the time, without even being able to ask family to babysit or being able to send them to school.  But it’s got to be so much harder on them.  Not seeing their friends and family, not maintaining their usual routine, and undoubtedly hearing a lot of worrying things about the coronavirus.
So I just wanted to write a note to whoever needs to hear this – you don’t need to keep everything.  You can keep your kids entertained with all the crafting, colouring and creativity and you really don’t need to stop making things just because you’ve run out of places to put it.
I have a 3 year old and I really don’t keep many of her artistic creations. I’m a hoarder. I’m trying to stop being. But it’s not easy, and for me, holding onto all those makes is just going to add to my pile of things I can’t part with.
Sure, keep the baby footprints. Keep the little ornaments for the Christmas tree. Keep the little trinkets that brighten up your home. But when you feel like you’ve got enough, don’t worry about throwing them away.
Just because you throw it out doesn’t mean it’s gone. It stays there in your kid’s memory. It stays there in their mind along with the memories of those trips to the zoo, the days out at the park, the tickle fights, the peekaboo games, the nursery rhymes, the time you taught them to ride a bike, all those meals you lovingly made, the bedtime stories, the homework help. All those other things you cant keep. Because they don’t go away either.

And one day, your child will be older and may have their own children. And they will find themselves tapping into those memories. Of all the fun things they made with you. And all the things you did with them to help them realise that life is worth living and life is good. It will help them be a great parent. A compassionate and imaginative human.
So we’re all home now with our kids for a while. It might be a long time. So don’t keep everything. Don’t stop making things just because you have too many things. Keep going. Don’t beat yourself up for throwing things away.
If you’re all out of craft supplies, grab leaves when you’re out on walks, pick up stones to paint, use household items to make artwork.  Help your child pick out all the different coloured toys they have and lay them out to make a rainbow on the floor.
Keep going parents, you’re all doing a great job keeping your children happy and safe.