Unexpected benefits of lockdown

For many of us, lockdown has been a demanding struggle – working remotely, supporting our children’s learning and coping with confinement, endless snacks and a constantly messy house. Then we add in the anxiety around the virus and the uncertainty of our future.

But if we take a minute to reflect, we can find unexpected opportunities that quarantine has provided. Spending time with our loved ones, although sometimes challenging, has brought many families and siblings closer, reducing our lives to the essentials of security and safety.

There has been much emphasis on the challenges and expectations of home-schooling but there are plenty of positives for our children that we can spotlight too. During this enforced time together there will have been chances for negotiation, teamwork, patience and tolerance.

Children have learned to practice gratitude for all our key workers, battling under the immense pressure of their new working environments. There have been opportunities for increasing empathy and witnessing random acts of kindness that so many strangers have demonstrated over the last few weeks.

Our young people will have strengthened resilience and adaptability – some of the softer skills that employers are always saying are in short supply.

Parents will have a better understanding of their children’s learning style, be it visual, logical or verbal. This will be of incredible value as they support their ongoing educational journey.

As households, we have taken on YouTube exercise workouts together, joined in yoga and meditation groups, and family quizzes – be it within the household or virtually with friends and relatives; forming and strengthening social bonds beyond the previous normal.

You only have to scroll through your social media feeds to witness incredible creativity under lockdown – from famous artworks being recreated amongst household items to musicians creating virtual orchestras and choirs.

So don’t despair of the lost classroom time, instead focus on the key life skills that our youngsters may have developed during quarantine – preparing meals, planting vegetable seedlings and reading the electricity meter – all of equal importance to worksheets and homework.