Kids And Quarantine

We’ve been living in this semi-isolation for awhile now.  Lucky for me, my kids are with me and attending their online classes.  While I haven’t had any problems with the kids wanting to leave to see their friends, I’ve been hearing other parents tell a different story.

How’s it going there with you?

Because kids don’t always seem to understand that isolation is the key to not spreading the virus.  Having grown up with after-school activities galore, they have more downtime and they don’t know what to do with it.  Because sometimes when there’s downtime, we have time to think of what we had previously been pushing away.  Which leads me to…

Sitting with whatever fears, worries or hurts doesn’t feel good for kids.  Well, we can include us in that too, right?  And when those feelings come up because there’s not a lot to distract us from them, stuff happens.  People act out.  They’re grumpy or depressed.  They can be quick to anger without provocation.  And they don’t see it.  They can’t explain it.  It just happens.  They’re feeling crummy, but they don’t really understand why.

And because as parents, we’re not mind readers, so we don’t know.  Interactions can escalate without warning.  Buttons can be pushed.  Wounds can be reopened (spiritually speaking, not real body wounds).

How do I know?  Because it happened here with the kids and me.  They’ve been holding onto a lot of stuff from the divorce and suddenly there was attitude that I hadn’t had with them.  So I took a step back before I said something that I wouldn’t want to regret saying and the following morning, when things were calmer, I sat them down and talked with them.

It was the best thing I could have done.  Caring voice, with concern and a little discipline (you aren’t allowed to be disrespectful to me) and I asked what was going on with them.  Because even living in the same home, there are times where they aren’t talking about how they feel because it’s scary.  It’s hard to process and they don’t feel secure in their future as college students.  They’re worried about their dad who doesn’t talk with them or check in.  They miss their friends.  They’re concerned about who’s going to be the next person to get the virus.

All these feelings are coming to the surface to be dealt with and they don’t want to deal with them.  They don’t want to feel the pain of their parents’ divorce again, but there’s not really a choice when you don’t have a whole heck of a lot of distractions to occupy you.  And you have to process all the emotions in order to heal.  So it’s time.

They each have a therapist who they are talking to weekly which is helping.  We are taking more time to talk these days too even though sometimes it’s hard to hear what each of them has to say (and vice versa).  We’ve started cooking together a little bit which brings a communal goal to bond us.  Because let me say this honestly, I’m tired of cooking so much.  I needed help and they’re quite old enough.  But my prior efforts of pushing them to cook with me in order to learn wasn’t working.  It was when I changed my tune and began to invite them to cook with me that I saw the change.

Subtle changes can make such an impact.  Don’t you think?  So tell me, how’s it going with you???

 

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15 Responses to Kids And Quarantine

  1. Paula Light says:

    I miss my kids; they’re both grown and married. Isolation alone has a different set of problems, but it’s mostly not that bad. Stay well ❤️

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  2. petespringerauthor says:

    No kids around here. Our son landed a new job about three weeks ago, and after his first day, he works from home. It’s hard to complain since we’ve got our health. I think the biggest challenge has been keeping busy, not knowing how long we could be doing this. Four weeks of stay-at-home now in the books.

    I’m glad you have been able to talk so openly with your kids. I think you were wise to walk away and come back together the next day when calmer heads prevailed.

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    • janieleeds says:

      Thanks Pete. I try to be a good Mom. Calmer heads did prevail so I’m glad I waited. It’s hard for everyone. Glad your son got a job and he’s working from home! YAY! Congrats!

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  3. LA says:

    We’ve adjusted. None of us like it, but we’ve settled into the new normal…

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  4. Strange times, such a cliche but I find myself having trouble concentrating. One kid at home on school holidays right now, other still in full-time work. Very lucky that I am still earning some money, though freelance income has plummeted. Also lucky to have beloved partner, so I don’t have to feel the same level of loneliness as the many singles I know. Stay well x

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    • janieleeds says:

      Glad you have family there with you and still a job…concentrate on the gratitude and it will be ok. Sending you a hug. Thank you for stopping by. Good to see you! 🙂

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  5. Dwight Hyde says:

    Hey Janie😊. So much to comprehend on so many levels that I’ve given myself a pass to “just keep swimming”.

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    • janieleeds says:

      Keep afloat Dwight! Swimming swimming swimming…isn’t that the little song Dory sings in that Disney movie Finding Nemo? Wow! Not sure when that came from b/c that’s an old movie my kids used to watch…anyway, just be you and reach out if you need a friend. I’m here for you! 🙂

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  6. Although opening wounds is tough, with your children older and more willing to listen, maybe this time will help to heal some of the wounds. Talking is always the best way through a challenge.

    I too have a college student at home, but he buries himself in his world of gaming. I’m sure some of it is to escape what’s going on, but trying to get him to unplug has been an ongoing issue for me. Getting him engaged to help with cooking would be nice. Burnt out is an understatement.

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