Behind starburst eyes

Corona’s Effect on Mental Health

It’s been months since Covid-19 became a worldwide epidemic, and while I am truly, deeply thankful that my family has not experienced this virus directly, sadly it still has had an impact on my children through their mental health.

He used to be gregarious, he used to be fearless, he used to be happy and confident…Used to be…

It makes my heart ache to see the changes in him, to see how scared he is to even leave the house because as he puts it “It’s invisible, I can’t see it, I can’t fight it” He used to be thrilled to pop over to the store for me, and he’d always ask if he could pick up something for dessert for everyone in addition to the bread or milk I was usually asking for. Now, his first response is “Or I could not go” with a pleading face as he says it. He used to love going for runs, now he says “there’s too many people”. He would rather forgo takeout or new toys if he has to go outside for them.

So instead I don’t ask him to go for me, but I do ask him to go with me. I’m willing to walk with him, because I’m determined to make him go out (while of course allowing precautions such as a mask and hand sanitizer) because he can’t stay locked inside for the next however long. It’s not healthy for him.

I know this might be a long road for him, but I remember when he was 2 and would have uncontrollable meltdowns when we’d walk different routes home from Airzone, he’d cry that it “wasn’t the right way home”. Back then I knew he had to learn there were many ways to get to somewhere, physically and metaphorically. I would hold him and tell him over and over he was loved and safe and I understood and he was my wonderful brave boy as he cried for hours even after we got home.

This is no different, I’ll be there each step of the way offering him love and support as I help him walk this hard path. I love him enough to do the hard things because he always has been and always will be worth the effort to help him thrive.

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Easy = Right…Right?

There have been times during our homeschooling journey that I wanted to quit, I wanted to walk down the street a mere two blocks and sign Mr. C up for public school. There were times when I seriously contemplated it, I would write lists in my mind of pros and cons. All because at times it was oh so hard to homeschool. During times of stress, family issues, illness, and during pregnancies I struggled with homeschooling. In part I struggled because I was still trying to do it the way I’d learnt in school (small amounts of several subjects 5 days a week) in part I struggled because I worried about how much he was learning and at what pace, in part I struggled because I wanted to be able to do as much with him as I had when he was an only child.

But mostly my struggle came from a very mistaken idea I’d somehow become convinced was true…

I was convinced that it had to be easy if it was right, and if it was hard it must be wrong. Only life doesn’t work that way, children and parenting doesn’t work that way. Sometimes the best parts only happen because of all the hard that happens first.

It’s through the struggles that we grow as people, and it’s through the successes of surpassing some of those very same struggles that our greatest triumphs and joys occur.

With changing how many subjects we do each day we’re able to go much deeper into each one which balances out how often we’re doing them.

As for how much he’s learning, I believe he’s doing wonderful, I know what the current curriculum is for our region, I keep him apace of it, but I don’t make him stop learning because he’s “supposed” to wait until Grade X to learn something. Add in the fact that I still get to do tons of social skills learning with him by homeschooling him, seeing how far he’s progressed in the last 6 years and I know he’s learning more than enough to help him succeed in obtaining his version of happiness come adulthood.

I look at moments like the one that occurred the other day (And So a hero is born) and I know that I’m still doing just as much with him, because I’m teaching him something even more valuable than even math or grammar, I’m teaching him to be a good person. That dear readers is powerful beyond measure for his future, for his own happiness, and for his eventual contributions towards the betterment of society.

So while some days or weeks might be filled with hard it’s okay, because as I look at who he is as a person I can see that where parenting and homeschooling are concerned hard isn’t always wrong, and easy isn’t always right, sometimes hard = right.

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