The pandemic has been hard on families. There has been so much loss, so much hardship, so much stress, and so much change. What makes it even harder is that there is so much uncertainty about when and how it will end; our lives, and the lives of our children, are going to be disrupted for the foreseeable future.
There is so much we cannot control in all of this that it’s easy to lose sight of what we can control. One thing we absolutely can do is cultivate small moments of joy in each and every day. It doesn’t have to be a lot, or anything fancy or complicated. That’s the thing about joy: it can be very simple.
Children have a great capacity for joy. It doesn’t take much to make them happy. It’s even easier to make them happy if you do something with them — which can have the added benefit of making parents happy too, as the joy of children can be infectious.
Here are some ideas for simple, fun things you can do as a family that can bring joy. You can adapt them to the age and temperament of your child.
You can get everyone in the family involved in coming up with ideas. Have people write things down on index cards or pieces of paper and put them in a bag or bowl, and then choose randomly or together. Try to devote some regular time at least a few times a week to just being happy. It could be a family ritual — maybe even one that takes root and becomes a permanent part of your family life.
Those moments can add up, you’ll see. It doesn’t change the way the world is now, but anything we can do that makes us relax and be happy, and gives us a pleasant memory, is good — and good for us.
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