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Julie McIsaac
on
June 3, 2020

“How are the kids?”

But, those answers are really more about me. Which I think is really fine because let’s be honest, my friend asking me in passing or over email about my kids is not really asking how my kids are doing, she’s checking in to see if I need to talk.

[Image Description: A Black presenting boy smiling holding his handlebars while riding a lime green bike with a white helmet. He’s wearing a green, teal, white, and orange striped shirt with red shorts cut off by the framing of the photograph. The b…

I hear this a lot. I’m sure you do, too. I usually answer based on how I’m feeling. 

“They’re just THRIVING!”. Sarcastic. 

“It really depends on the day but we’ve gotten into a pretty good routine of…..” {goes on to explain details of routine for each child and parent.} Over-Caffeinated. 

“I mean, I showered today.” Raw. 

But, those answers are really more about me. Which I think is really fine because let’s be honest, my friend asking me in passing or over email about my kids is not really asking how my kids are doing, she’s checking in to see if I need to talk. And usually I do. But it’s usually about how I’m dealing with dealing with the kids. 

Really, how are the kids?

When our county first went into lockdown in March, we asked our kids how we could do this well and they really delivered. They told us things like ‘let us do tiktoks’ or ‘more movie nights’.  They reminded us to pause. And to remember that we are all experiencing this time differently but often intensely. 

So after all of this time at home, when we emerge from our school-at-home worlds, with our straggly hair and our WFH (work from home) attire, what will we have to show for it?  

Did your child master her times tables? Did she get through her first book or did he have that ah-ha moment with writing? Maybe!  But also, maybe not. Learning happens away from the online learning forum or worksheets, too. Often rich learning, but sometimes it can be harder to spot it. 

We went back to the kids and we asked them:

“What do you feel proud of that you accomplished or learned during this time?”

And we LOVED the answers, again. Because when our kids told us about how proud they were of learning how to ride a two wheeler (YAY!), whittling a bow and arrow from sticks (WooHoo!) or getting a solo win in Fortnight (Dang!), they really told us what’s important to them. They told us what they’ll remember when this is part of their story they tell when they’re older. And it conjured up images for us of how we had this time. This time that felt heavy and stressful and unknown, but also had these moments of togetherness.  This time when you had to send them out of the room again and again because you had a call, and you felt guilty, but they practiced their skill or figured out how to be bored or even took time to be sad.  So when we emerge from this learning-at-home time, don’t forget there’s more to measure than what you see on a report card or what we think of as traditional academics. 

Ask your kids, and they’ll remind you of the things that we might be forgetting to measure. And then celebrate that accomplishment.  Share in their pride. And remember those moments the next time you start to feel like you didn’t do ‘enough’.  Let’s take our lead from Lucy (age 12) who told us, “I think I’ve been doing a good job looking at things more positively.”    

We would love to hear what your kids feel proud about!  Send us a message or find us on social! 

  • Julie McIsaac, Ph.D.

    Child Development and Disability Advisor

    Julie specializes in working with children and families with diverse developmental profiles She uses reflective practice, emotion-coaching, play and a relationship-based framework to support skill building in the areas of emotional-regulation and problem-solving. Julie consults with families, schools and community organizations. As a parent, she understands the need to have a cohesive team supporting a child and family.

    Profile Photo of Julie McIsaac
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