A Grouchy Ladybug, Sidewalk Chalk, and Easter Delights.

What could these three things have in common you might ask? They’re bringing us together during COVID-19 isolation. Experts have long told us that when depression sets in, children often isolate. So does it go without saying that when forced isolation sets in, children will get depressed? Perhaps, but many are making sure that the isolation caused by the pandemic isn’t quite so isolating for their children.

Using Technology to Stay Connected

One way for children to stay connected is by having some FaceTime or Zoom time with people they care about. I’ve heard so many wonderful stories of teachers who have reached out through technology to teach and stay connected with their students. I have a friend who has started teaching all his grandchildren, ages 6–12, history lessons because they’ll listen to grandpa a bit more than their parents. Personally, I’ve been able to tell jokes, ask important questions and read stories, like Eric Carle’s book The Grouchy Ladybug, with some of my favorite young people. The hugs may be gone, but the relationships can carry on and remind children they are still part of a world that cares about and loves them.

Written and Artistic Expression of Feelings

Drive into any neighborhood in the US today and you will find a new form of artistic expression. What are these artworks? Sidewalk chalk drawings. Everywhere you look there are beautiful chalk drawings, children expressing feelings of hope and joy for the future, and bits of sadness of missed birthday celebrations and the passing of a loved one. And it’s not just children but parents and grandparents are expressing their feelings through chalk art as well! The important thing is they are sharing their feelings with others. People are also sharing their feelings in letters, cards, essays and stories. These two beautiful young ladies recreated a Renoir painting, and this young man used what he found in nature to create a work of art. The possibilities are endless. Let them use whatever tools are necessary to express their feelings and keep them from feeling so isolated.

Community Activities in Isolation

The neighborhood I live in has done an incredible job of reminding us we are part of a community and we are all in this together. Someone even had this saying put up in front of the neighborhood, “No Plague Shall Come Near This Place”. They’ve organized several drive-by activities, including a virtual Easter Egg Hunt. We were encouraged to decorate an egg and put it in our window so the kids could go around with their parents and find them. On Easter Sunday a sweet neighbor dressed up as the Easter Bunny, got into the back of a truck to keep a safe distance away, and let families take pictures! It is so important for children to be reminded that they are not alone. We are part of a world that can find answers to hard questions together! We can come out of this pandemic stronger and more creative than ever.

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