How is news of the global pandemic affecting your children?

"Play is the work of childhood." as Piaget once said.

We know that many children work out what they are feeling and experiencing through their play.  As parents we often delight in this and admire all their cute ways. But we also need to be mindful of what our little ones are picking up, listening to and experiencing.

Our four year old is a typical active, energetic boy. He has big feelings and tests his boundaries at times.  He is a bundle of joy. But he has not been himself this week. Something is up and we couldn't put our finger on it. He has been acting a right pain to be honest.

While playing in the forest my little guy was happy among the logs and fallen branches, making up his own game. He built a little office and workshop. It was rather cute. Then he began to read his pretend newspaper and tell me all the news. Of course it closely resembled the global COVID 19 pandemic, but in his own words. I felt so sad that his young magical childhood had been marred by the adult world around him.

I was also upset with myself because I know better. Having been a long time listener and reader of Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne, I know that it is a good idea to filter out the adult world from our children. Of course we do not need to shelter them completely, but we should be careful not to overwhelm our kids with all the fine details of things they do not understand. We had been discussing the news, reminding the boys to wash, correcting our youngest when he was spitting (blowing raspberries), and so forth.  Our little guy was hearing all of this, taking it in, but not totally understanding what it all meant.

I am grateful for the beautiful day and that he had the free time to play. He was able to work out he thoughts freely without interruption.  I did not step in until he invited me to.  But, I have learned a lot. My husband and I will be more careful what we discuss in front of our children and help them to work through their big feelings.

In this time of fear, great uncertainty, social distancing and a global pandemic, I implore you to think also of your children an what messages they are absorbing.
For more support in this area I highly recommend the Simplicity Parenting podcast episodes 81-85 (Troubling times parts 1-5)

Many parents get overwhelmed too by their children's big feelings. I have a lot I have learned about this topic. For now I want to remind you to be that safe space for your child to unload their baggage. Try to be the calm in the storm for them. If you need to take a moment to calm yourself, please do so. Once they let it all out and vent, you can reassure them with your love, hugs and playful fun.

I'd love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts with me here or on my Facebook page  For more support for your parenting journey join the Gentle/Peaceful Parenting Community


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