Am I Slowly Going Crazy During Covid? (aka Stop the insanity and Let Them Play!)
It is amazing how much life can change in a matter of days. We went from life as we know it; going to school, work, child care, shopping and anything else we choose to attend to then being grounded like we are teenagers all over again. We are being told to stay home for our own safety and that of others. Now heading to the grocery store feel like we are putting our lives and family at risk. This new reality is scary. (and if in completely honest, Im tired of it!)
For the first few weeks we were living consistently functioning at bottom of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. (I am sure I first learned about him in high school then studied him again in College.) We were all just worried about getting from one day to the next without loosing our minds! To add to this stress we were being asked to work from home, keep our children home and in some cases become their teachers all the while having no physical support from anyone who didn’t already live with us. Then we are to add a whole lot of Zoom calls! There are some of us who never knew about Zoom before but we are now experts! If that wasn’t bad enough we needed to add the daily updates from the provincial and federal government and the Chief Medical officer and and and constant bombarding of the news from all over the world. (I occasionally contemplated rolling up in a ball in the corner and hiding until it was all over!)
How do Children deal with it all?
Children deal with fears and things they don’t understand through play. They act it out, they talk, they use pretend play. This is how they try to make sense of what is happening around them. Don’t stop them. Don’t stop this type of play if you see it. It may make us feel uncomfortable but they need to do this. This is their way of dealing and coping and trying to figure to all out. Let them play!
We may think we have been shielding our children from what is happening in the world. Really we are not. They are hearing us talk and the stress and anxiety in our voice, they hear it on the radio, and see it on tv. It is all around and as much as we want to keep it from them, they know something serious is going on.
Let them play!!
What the ‘bleep, bleep’ is going on?
I am part of a variety of early childhood education (ECE) groups on facebook and in the virtual world and what I am seeing makes me want to scream and throw things!!
I am seeing program managers pressuring their ECE’s to ‘teach’ preschoolers (and in some cases INFANTS!) via Zoom! How insane is that? As an advocate for what is research based and developmentally appropriate practice, we have been long shouting about no screens for young children. (and if we are honest, they are not that great for anyone including US!) How in the world are we to ‘teach’ children who we know NEED to be active and hands on to learn? Where did this insane idea ever come from.
What worries me is this is being driven by the concern of parents that their infant and preschool children will somehow fall behind being at home with their families playing! Years of research tells us that children off all ages learn best by hands on and playing! If asked, I can link all kinds of learning to all the playing children do. (ok, I might be getting on a bit of a soap box here) As an ECE I am looking for the 4 developmental domains; cognitive which includes language and literacy, emotional, social, and physical and I can find them in all play that children do and they will be learning there skills without being at a table with a worksheet! I could get very nerdy on you right now but I will save that for another rant and post.
Please relax, throw out the worksheet, long periods of time sitting, and let them play!