By Jennifer Norton

I have been finding it very interesting to watch my daughter grow and develop from a little girl into a pre-teen. It is such a pivotal age and she is going through this while being in quarantine. There are missed milestones, missed adventures, missed growth opportunities and missed moments that will last a lifetime, but through it all, there has been grace and understanding and a maturity that I didn’t know was there.

There are times that we have tried to shield her from things that are going on, but we can’t underestimate our kids through this. They are learning and watching as we navigate something that we haven’t gone through before. I know that is a heavy weight for us, but it is something that I have taken to heart. Age appropriate discussion of these times are needed to help our kiddos learn to form opinions and learn to wrangle these feelings and emotions. They need to know that it is ok to have these feelings but there is an appropriate way to work through them. Yes, we can be sad, angry, depressed but we can also find the joy, the love and the laughter.

I feel that God is leading us through this and He has not forgotten us. This is a time to step up and show others that there can be goodness and light coming out of the darkness. We look to the Church and we see all the volunteers coming out and showing their compassion to those who need it. We can see the extra time that we have with our families without having to run here and there. There is time to help our kids with their school work and be included in their learning which is something that we wouldn’t have the opportunity to before. We see that this isn’t always rainbows and sunshine and that isn’t what I am eluding to, but what I am saying, is that we have to find the work of God in this, as that will be our saving grace. We can teach our kids to turn from the negativity and find the positivity.

We make it a point to ask our daughter what her favorite part of the day was. We ask what she learned today or what she is looking forward to and this helps her to get her brain working to find what is making her happy. I encourage you to do that same. It is important that we engage our kids during this time and show them this technique and it will also help us as parents, too, to see the happiness.

If you are having a hard time coming out of the darkness, we encourage you to reach out to the church and/or seek out a counselor. This will help you to sort out those feelings and gain a foothold on your life. We are not alone in this. We are part of God’s family and there are so many people ready and willing to help. Please do not hesitate to reach out today.

The Saddleback Parents Team
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