What do you do when you find yourself quarantined at home with your young children? This is not a snow day but the new normal for the foreseeable future. Suddenly, you feel the full weight of their intellectual and educational development, squarely upon your shoulders.
Regain a right perspective. What is your real goal for your children? God is on His throne and is having us slow down, reflect, enjoy family time, and calling for us to all lean into Him. What is God asking of you during this time? If your children are young, do not stress one bit over trying to duplicate their institutional school experience at home.
Here are some activities and ideas you may want to explore to redeem this precious time. Read to your children, pray with them, make cards together for our public officials and nursing homes and mail them… just make memories. Settle in each evening and sing worship songs together.
You have not been tasked with being an activity coordinator, but called to shape a soul. Think of 4 things you can be thankful for each day and discuss them (this will morph into a habit and you and your children will begin to naturally see gifts of His grace in both the difficult and the good.) During the day, help them work on affirming each other. On each of our birthdays, we sit around the table and share what we love about that family member and how we see God at work in his or her life. What if we were to do that during this season of quarantine? Develop an attitude of teamwork by working on a puzzle together and deal with heart issues that may surface during this time.
Focus on the underlying heart issues as you see them exposed. They have likely been there all along, though you may have just been too busy to observe them. Does your child tend to claim “rights,” or have an insensitivity to younger siblings? Maybe your children just need to practice talking through conflict and humbly asking for forgiveness from each other.
Think longterm. This time should be training ground as later in life, these children entrusted to you will have the opportunity to teach these same lessons to your grandchildren. Don’t be surprised if this is not easy for you. Your heavenly Father is “schooling” you during this time as well. This kind of work is a holy one that requires surrendering of our own agendas, frustrations, and impatience. We have no other option but to ask the Holy Spirit to do a work in our hearts. It is gloriously painful and gloriously beautiful all at the same time.
What our children need most during this time is to see their parents having confidence in God’s plan, provision, and purpose.
Janet Anglin / March 17, 2020