Children in the age of COVID
Adults need to be honest with children but choose our words and emphasis carefully. As a former teacher, tutor, parent, and grandparent, I have attempted to address difficult topics appropriate to my relationship with a child. Children gain when they can express their emotions, understanding, and fears about difficult topics such as death. They learn how to react, analyze, and priorotize tumultuous events in their lives. Pretending that events will be only happy, pleasant, and safe deprives children of the opportunity to develop the flexibility and grit to prosper even in the face of seemingly impossible challenges. Honesty, love, and support are the gifts children need to flourish in this present time of strife.
This touched me deeply, and I am so grateful you posted this. The children in our lives are facing so much more than they should ever be asked to face. Our decisions must take them into account, and how it will affect them. I have lost a relative with young children to Covid, and if I can't come to terms with that, how can I ever expect the children to reconcile the loss of a parent?
My heart breaks over yet another school shooting and lives taken way too soon, only to see Christmas card photos of our representatives in Congress in front of a tree with their children, all smiling as they hold firearms and ask Santa to bring more ammo. I see communities wanting to burn books so their children cannot read them, yet they rebel against the simple measure of making sure they wear a mask in public places.
I agree that children are our most valuable resource, and I am amazed and astounded at their resiliency. They have stepped up to meet the challenges of the past two years in ways many adults could not. They have adapted, found ways to cope, and many have succeeded in endeavors we would never attempt. We must do better and we must not ask more of our children than what they are capable of achieving. We cannot allow their spirits to be crushed by our failings. They will be the ones to guide the future. Please, let us give them the chances they need.
I believed that Americans could come together to protect our children. Sadly, I was wrong. I guess we just have to fight harder and believe in the children.
@DanRather #DanRather 💜💜💜💜#Children and #COVID definitely don't mix. Thank you, Dan for continuing to touch on this topic. We are eternally grateful.💖
I agree with 99% of this post, but one thing I feel is often an impediment in calls to action such as this one is placing blame. It occurred to me when I stumbled on the line "they can reap what we have failed to sow." I don't get what's meant by that, but to me it's more persuasive to say that children can reap what we have sown -- and we can sow stronger, healthier crops. No generation is entirely responsible for the state of the world. We all come into it as innocents and do our parts (or don't) throughout our lives. Perhaps some older people feel the urge to do better faster as time grows shorter. That's a good thing -- it's not necessarily reflective of wrongdoing or failure. Before leaving the planet, its elders can and should do plenty of sowing, even those who may not have given as much of their lives' energy to shaping a better world as you have. I see it as opportunity, not a last desperate act born of guilt.
As a lifelong public school educator and a mom, this topic in particular is a gut punch. I wish I could feel your sense of hope, but the choices of adults in our society so often disregard children’s welfare... even that of their OWN children. The selfishness is appalling and a form of abuse, in my opinion.
There are many circumstances in which adults don’t know better or simply can’t do better. But there are also a great many adults who promote misinformation and outright lies for their own greed and sense of “power.”
The crocodile tears, the thoughts and prayers, ring worse than empty. It’s people’s actions that show what’s in their hearts. Children, too often, are an afterthought.
With all those thoughts of the children, surely your head and our heads are swirling and maybe hurting.
I think of my two nieces's sons whose mothers don't think they need Covid-19 vaccines so necessary for themselves and the world.
And I, too, think of the world we are leaving for our children, whoever they belong to, without thinking of the world's future and theirs. Then I wonder how so many people don't give a care.
And I say, if people really don't study authoritative sources to decide what is truly worth believing in and the political figures to help with these, then I just don't want to imagine any more.
This is one of the most powerful pieces I have read here on Steady, so much so (and please let me apologize for using the words) it made me stop and think.
What a wonderful post Dan. I read it and had to stop at times. So heavy. All these children.
Everytime I have read an article or post about another family broken apart by covid, it takes a bit of my heart away. I knew there were a lot of children but the numbers are mindboggling. I don't know what can be done or said to all of the politicians to open their eyes and their hearts to these children. What an absolutely heartwrenching fact. My heart now has a new focus to add to a few others I feel strongly about. Gun laws also since this also affects our children. I'm 62 and I do not want to leave this world knowing our children are not safe. Instead of God Bless America it should be God Help America!
They are collateral damage to those who downplay this pandemic and let it grow for their political ends. Just like those who refuse to rein in guns and assault weapons and allow more children to be killed, maimed and traumatized. God help us all
Oh my. How could I not realize this level of loss. My thought and prayers have been directed at the health care works in overtaxed facilities and the too many aging family and friends who lost or nearly lost a family member for lack of vacinnation.
Thank you well said! We need to step back and consider the losses, like so many others I lost my sister a year ago 12/13. Our children and grandchildren will survive but we need to stop the fighting and work toward our next best thing. The children need us the adults to stop bickering, fighting, and promoting lies and begin telling the truth, nurturing, educating and fixing the issues for everyone not just a few at the top of the food chain. We need to provide them with a fighting chance to complete fixing our home. It is afterall our ONLY home!
Thank you, Dan and Elliot. What an important reminder that our children - ALL the children of our country- are valuable. They ARE our future. We must nourish, educate, and care for each and every one. Not addressing these issues is the same as throwing away valuable potential / resources. The Foundling Hospital was established in London by wealthy benefactors who saw infants and children being abandoned and literally thrown away, and they recognized that these little ones were necessary for British society to thrive. I see the USA throwing away, so to speak, the valuable lives and potential of our children and also our drug addicted citizens. They are all Americans. They are all OURS.
Wow, Dan. What a wonderful column today. It was good to get such a gentle knock on the back of my head! This indeed can be a time to be hopeful. The younger people that I have the good fortune to interact with are in large part members of a wonderful generation. Teachers, musicians, artists and techno wizards.