08 February, 2021

This is the Saddest Thing About the China Virus

Not the unforced economic hardships.

Not all of the wonderful small businesses that have been forced to close and will never open again.

Not having to wear the stupid masks.

Not the incredible mounting debt we have created through stimulus packages.

Not even the deaths.

It’s what hat we are doing to our kids.

Salena Zito tells a poignant story. One that most of us parents can identify with.

The kids aren't alright (washingtonexaminer.com)

It has been nearly a year since [Lena Carson\ walked into CAPA, a magnet school she had to earn admission to through a portfolio of her work, and interacted with her teachers or friends.

Her daily swims are gone, along with her social life. Her outside activities have diminished to walking the dog around the block.

In the beginning, like most teenagers, she thought of it as an extended snow day. When days turned to weeks, what started as an escape from school went from fun to dread. "In the beginning, I was like, I have this time off, it's going to be so fun, and now going to school is all I want," she said.

I have two daughters. We have gone through this too. My older daughter has mostly done well, but she hates being home every day. And she struggled with Honors physics last semester and was forced to drop to regular physics this semester. I believe that had she been in school this wouldn’t have happened.

More on Lena:

[H]er straight A's have dipped to D's, and Lena says she struggles to complete assignments, not because she can't but because of the lost will. "I have nothing to look forward to," she said.

I said above my older daughter was doing well. I didn’t mention my younger daughter. Her experience mirrors this last paragraph. She’s totally unmotivated. Her grades have really suffered and it’s all my wife and I can do to get her to get her work done. It’s a daily struggle.

And it’s not lack of intelligence. It’s lack of motivation. I can tell she rarely even pays attention during her virtual classes, and yet if I force her to do the homework, she can zip right through it. Occasionally I have to explain something, but never more than once.

You think it’s my fault? Fine. I’m the parent. Blame me. But the simple fact is that she needs structure and she’s getting none. She was never the most self-motivated. We always had to push her. But she enjoyed going to school at least, if not the actual “doing school”. She got to see her friends and experience things together. Now it’s Facetime and Zoom. It’s not the same.

And even my older daughter is suffering. She’s a junior in high school. She should be going out with her friends every Friday and Saturday night. Going to football and basketball games. Going to movies and out for pizza. Sleepovers and birthday parties. Homecoming dances. She’s had a little of this, but not much. It’s not hurting her in an educational since, other than she’s really missing learning about what life is and what life has to offer.

I don’t know which of the two breaks my heart more.

Salena Zito is right. The kids aren’t alright. And they may never be. How do you recover from a lost childhood?

They can’t handle much more of this. And frankly, neither can I.

No comments:

Post a Comment