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#bethechange - We are all in this together

Updated: Jul 5, 2020

You've heard the word so many times in the last few weeks 'unprecedented' & no other word describes this period in our history, unforeseen, so world spread & impacting on so many aspects of our day to day lives, as we've known until now.

Change comes in all shapes & size, unexpected, planned, gradual & intense. Everything in our environment has the capacity to alter who, how & why of each of us. However, in such uncertain times it can feel as if there is so little we can do, so much is out of our control, although what we can do & human beings have shown in their behaviour throughout history, to do exceptionally well, is our ability & capacity to learn, adapt & change.

We are all in this together. You can be the change you, your family, your colleagues, friends, community, needs. You can make choices to consider your response to this crisis, to a pandemic of world proportions, resulting in restrictions which have never been imposed on such a wide scale before.

I've been contemplating this & tossing ideas around with friends, family, colleagues about how do we adapt our businesses, how do we help others, how do we change the way we do things & create a ripple of human compassion, kindness & respect at a time when clearly there is a rise in socially significant behaviours which without doubt, severely impact on many of the struggles & challenges people are experiencing. While it may feel disempowering, with so many restrictions & instructions on what you must not do or cannot do, there are so many choices you can make. We can share our skills, our knowledge, support each other freely & compassionately. Sparks is available remotely, via Skype & Google Hangout - drop an email or contact via iMessage on Facebook. As a teacher, yogi, behaviour analyst, someone with vast experience across contexts, in supporting families, caring for, educating & supporting children, in remote, regional & metropolitan environments, in Australia & overseas, with families under stress & experiencing challenges; we can reach out as professionals, as friends, colleagues & as a society. Make contact & let us know if we can support you through these tough times of isolation & social distancing. Having home-schooled my children at times & a member of many early childhood associations & professional bodies supporting children & families, check-out the amazing links below which you may find useful in the weeks & months ahead in keeping your family busy - share your links on Facebook.

There are incredibly supportive home-school & distance education forums out there, families & children who have been living schooling from home for many years & have overcome some of those hurdles you may experience, reach out, make new friends, learn & discover that education does not stop at the school gate nor is it limited to institutional classrooms. Don't forget to remember how to play? For busy, working parents, on the go & running literally in & out of the door only a few weeks ago, if you are now spending more time at home, grab the bedsheets, make your cubbies, leave it up, picnics are awesome (even in the backyard), tea parties, block play (tape them all together leave up to evolve over weeks!), paint, create, sing, dance, cook together, conduct experiments.

Create short films, encourage children & young people to work together, write a script, direct, create props, sound tracks, music, stage a home-play. Remember board games? If your children are overwhelmed by the COVID-19 information, limit the information, ensure what you share & expose your children to is age/stage appropriate & always listen to the professionals who understand the psychological development of children (there will be a lot of people out there sharing advice with little or no qualifications, be careful who you listen to). You can use experiences to learn, create stories, document data, track details (older students where appropriate), to discuss science, learn about human behaviour & how a virus, so small can create such incredible ripple effects across the planet. Write stories, keep a diary, talk about budgeting & expenditure (build on math!). How is your garden going? I've been catching up on home renovations, gardening, the veggie patch, herb garden, over the last few weeks, it's looking amazing.

My pets have been lavishing in extra cuddles, time to spend on a few behaviour issues, training & treats! There were times I've taken my children out of school, several times in our past; travelled around Australia, Europe & the US via Iceland on another occasion! They've never been held back by not being in a classroom, the world is their classroom & right now that wider world is accessible online without leaving your home. I've provided a few resources below & would be wonderful for you to share your links & resources to others, to spread kindness, compassion, connection despite the physical distancing, we can still be social.

Remember just one person can make a difference. Be the change. ABC for Kids

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