By: Mayra Cuñez. (Translated by Susan Brand)
“Growing-up means nothing to a mother. A child is a child.
They get bigger and older, but for them they are still their children.”
– Toni Morrison
Communication, Mutated by Screens and Masks
Currently, the entire world has been in danger for more than two years, due to the Covid pandemic and each successive new variant. The virus has placed us in more than physical danger. It has dangerously affected our social spheres, economics, and the cultural norms of each country. It has especially affected the culture of each household. It is producing an emotional imbalance in each member of the family.
How children deal with communication from day to day has radically changed. The way they interact with their families, friends, teachers, classmates, and other activities, has had to mutate, right along with the virus.
The changes in the face of this new reality have become notorious: new, online modalities of study, work, or hobbies. New technological tools now seem to be and indefinite part of their lives and can also be overreaching. They have extended into our kitchens, home offices, and bedrooms, taking over an ever-greater part of our time. Social networks especially.
This is having a strong influence on our children, affecting a new generation who will grow up separated from normal socialization. They are not learning to read faces due to the use of masks or from viewing faces through screens.
Mothers are seeing emotional distancing develop in their children from a lack of intimate and personal communication. It is affecting how children interact within the nuclear family, and it is not always positive. Their mothers gaze on these changes with a troubled heart.
During the confinement and constant anguish of the Covid pandemic, one group that has been invisible is parents – the mothers and fathers responsible for family balance. They have born the burden of coping with their children’s stress and have given them emotional stability throughout the health crises. For sons and daughters, their parents have been a source of strength, peace, and wisdom.
Children, in adapting to the new reality, studying from home, and being away from their friends, can become angry and frustrated. In turn, this can manifest at home by making mischief or even being indifferent to the eventualities presented by the fear and isolation. They can close themselves to the humanity of their parents, which hinders family communication.
It is natural to feel fragile in moments where everything seems to collapse. Mom and dad must understand the emotions of their children in such adverse situations and give them the necessary support for their emotional security and still grow and mature.
Know How to Cope with Emotions
Difficult situations are an opportunity to learn together as a family.
Kids are human and have the need to be heard. They have the right to express their weakness, their challenges, or distress – and to be understood. However, they must also continue striving in their role as family member, and fight to improve the situation within their family and social circles.
While it is always appropriate to talk to children about the necessary respect and understanding that is required to maintain a loving relationship, it is especially important now. Establishing rules and teaching little ones to value the efforts of their parents helps them develop holistically. They must learn to understand the effort involved in giving them an education, other tools, and the things they have.
Below we share a quote, which contributes to our reflection on human exchange in all situations in life, and on what we give and what we receive:
“Service or giving is the other side of receiving. Giving and receiving is a full circle.
A full circle feels more natural than a half circle.”
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