Peace in People's Faces
 
As we wrap up the week…mmm…wait, what week is it? I have found myself on an emotional roller coaster. Some days, I am filled with optimism, hope, and a remarkable feeling of love for family time. While other days the strength of my hair follicles is put to the test, and I find myself wondering "how many meals a person prepares before they lose it?"

The answer to my question came to fruition when my emotions caught up with me this week. I watched a daily Chapel Talk from our HOS, and there, staring me in the face were faculty and staff members. My colleagues. My friends! I sobbed. As it turns out, the in-person connection I received each day working at SAA was providing more benefits than I realized. 

My daughter, who is a freshman in high school, mourned the loss of time with friends during that first week of quarantine. And though I was sympathetic to it, I didn’t know how to help.
 
All of this got me wondering: How important are friendships for our children? And, how on this pandemic-ridden-Earth are we going to cultivate them during this time of confinement?

As it turns out, friendships among children are critical. In fact, countless articles and blog posts mention its mental and physical benefits. A recent and fascinating NPR interview discusses the biological effects of friendship and why we need to maintain these bonds during the pandemic.

Michael Reichert (Author of How to Raise a Boy: The Power of Connection to Build Good Men) says, “Because having good friends is so important for boys’ development, families must make space in crowded family and classroom schedules for their sons to spend time with their friends.” 

So how does a parent heed Reichert’s advice when we are being encouraged to keep our children socially distant? Thankfully, technology provides so many ways to stay connected. Making time for Zoom or FaceTime calls, outside of those scheduled for classroom instruction, is a great start. My daughter began Face-Timing her friends each night after dinner, and I saw an immediate difference in her disposition. Netflix has even created a way that our kids can watch a movie together, called Netflix Watch Party. Genius!

There are so many other ways we can stay social, albeit distant. This Good House Keeping article has some great tips for socializing during this time.

As we navigate these uncharted waters together, yes, we should cherish family time. Still, we need to provide ways for our children to continue to cultivate friendships.
   
I saw an ad for Facebook.com/covidsupport that was narrated by poet Kate Tempest. The last lines of her poem read, “There is so much peace to be found in people’s faces. I love people’s faces.”
 
I agree.

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
 
Jennifer Colglazier; Admissions Assistant; Uniform Store Director; Former SAA Teacher
Jennifer is the mother of a teenage daughter, and a son, who is an Academy 6th grader. 
 

 

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