Dogs and Kids Rule
The Covid-19 pandemic has turned the world on its head in so many ways. I believe that, for a short time at least, dogs and kids were on top of the upside-down world. I picture dogs and kids sitting on top of a world globe laughing, playing, and enjoying life. Then at the bottom of this world globe are the adults – frazzled, freaked out, frantically scrambling, eyes wide open, mouths open in horror, hair all discolored and messy. Kids and dogs initially were the winners during the pandemic. They both had SO much time with their owners and parents, who were paying attention to them, in fact, stuck at home with them with no place to go! Their only and best options were to play, walk, spend a lot of time outdoors, and give their dogs and kids time and attention.
I know a woman who works for a dog invisible fencing business, and she said they were crazy busy with orders for fencing during quarantine because many people adopted dogs during that time. You may have heard that many shelters were actually empty of any dogs needing adoption.
In so many ways, dogs and kids ruled, and adults drooled. (An offshoot of the saying: ‘cats rule, dogs drool.’)
Now, as September approaches, there is a lot of attention and discussion about how schools will open – in person, remotely, or a combination of both. This indicates that this time of kids and dogs ruling is coming to an end…. sort of. Every effort is being made to get kids back to school, parents back to work which is both important and necessary. But it makes me wonder, just a little bit, is there a way to NOT go back to the previous ‘normal’ and still let dogs and kids rule with our time and attention? And if not rule, at least get a lot more time and attention?
Sadly, my dog fencing friend has updated me that dogs are now getting returned to shelters, now that quarantine restrictions have eased off, and they no longer have the time for the dog. I’m sorry, but that feels so wrong. We all could learn from this experience, and realize the value of time and attention we can give to our pets and kids, and learn a new way to live to make the time. After all, time is the currency of parenthood. There must be ways to creatively coordinate hybrid work with hybrid school.
The pandemic has forced us to familiarize ourselves, if not master, learning and working remotely. Arguably, the current public education system is antiquated. The gold standard of reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic could and perhaps should shift. Yes, there are the basics that kids need to learn. But what about more emphasis on each child’s strengths? How about adding more creative time for those who are artistic and imaginative and more right-brained? Or adding more physical activity and exploratory time for those who do best moving and learning through exploration and hands-on? And those whose left brains are naturally and easily able to grasp the concepts around, numbers, calculations, trigonometry to spend more time on utilizing and accelerating these innate abilities? Why not use this opportunity to shift ‘learning’ to build upon our kids’ natural strengths?
This may sound too outlandish to some, and to others like a good idea, but how to implement? This is an incredible opportunity to shift the old ways of living, working, and learning, to new ways. The pandemic has forced the opening of this door. We can take advantage of it and change and grow with what this open door is offering us.