“I believe that this pandemic, though difficult and scary for us and our kids, has the potential to positively impact our kids for the rest of their lives.”

As parents, some of the fear and anxiety we are facing in the midst of this pandemic relates to our children and how all of this will impact them. How is this isolation affecting them? Are they falling behind? How do I help them face the loss this pandemic is causing for them? 

We love our children and ultimately want to protect them. But what if in the long run the impact on our children is not actually going to be negative? What if the adversity and difficult experiences they are going through right now means that they will not just survive the pandemic but actually will thrive because of it?

Here is what we know about life on this earth. Struggle is a part of growth. It is often failure that is our greatest teacher. Adversity and difficulty are not things we enjoy or seek out, but ultimately they are often the defining factors in becoming who we are and determining the direction of our lives.

I believe that this pandemic, though difficult and scary for us and our kids, has the potential to positively impact our kids for the rest of their lives. This event will forge in this generation of young people some very important life lessons that will guide and direct them. I see this in three areas: 
  1. Appreciation
    I believe our children are learning to appreciate many things that most of us have taken for granted our whole lives. I think all of us are going to appreciate many things when this is all over, but for our kids this pandemic is going to form in them a lifelong appreciation of things like birthday parties, going out to eat, seeing a movie with friends, vacation trips, and simply the joy of being together. We have worried that devices and technology available to them were going to isolate this generation, but I believe our kids will appreciate community even more than we did.
  2. Preparation
    I believe our children are going to be much more prepared for the ups and downs of life. Our kids have learned through this difficult situation that life is not easy and that there are no guarantees. I think our children will have a much deeper value of money and being financially ready for the difficulties that life brings their way.
  3. Education
    In the long run I believe that our children’s education will be positively impacted by this pandemic. First I think our children are going to enjoy school more than their predecessors. Most students prior to the MCO would have said that they don’t like going to school. For many there will be a new sense of joy and pleasure in being at school: being with their friends and learning; being in the classroom with their teacher. Many of them are going to enjoy the extra-curricular activities much more and attend events that many students in the past skipped like concerts, games, student events, etc. Another side of this is that many students will have gained the skills and confidence of knowing that they can learn online and be successful with it and for many that will open up new possibilities and opportunities to be lifelong learners anywhere in the world.
The western phrase “every cloud has a silver lining” expresses the idea that within negative situations there are still positives happening. I think we all know this to be true and understand it, but that does not necessarily make the rain go away. It can however help us have a different perspective of the rain and give us hope that good can come out of this.

Written by Karl Steinkamp

Karl Steinkamp is passionate about Dalat International School and training up young people. Karl was a student at Dalat and returned with a degree in education as a student teacher, high school principal, and now Head of School since 2006.
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