Two months ago, how would we have described the kids of today?
The word ‘snowflake’ was bandied around an awful lot.
They probably had no empathy for others.
They spend too much time on their tablets and not enough time outside.
They were selfish and obsessed with material goods. Always wanting more. More toys, more technology, more games.
And now we find ourselves in the middle of a global pandemic, the biggest threat many of us have faced in the history of our existence.
School and extra-curricular activities cancelled. No visits to play centres, not even to our local playground. We cannot even visit aunts, uncles, grandparents or friends. No more playdates or day trips.
In the midst of it all, it is the kids, not the adults, who are coping so well.
They are using their tablets to keep in touch with each other, and have learned quickly how to use technology to host group calls (I’m now only becoming used to Zoom calls). They watch YouTube for inspiration for art projects.
With no busy schedules, they have to spend more time at home, maybe picking up books that they otherwise would have had no time to read.
They use Google to learn about animals, other countries, famous people.
They want to help. They make cards for the frontline staff. They write letters to nurses thanking them.
Of course, sometimes they play games on their tablets. Maybe for longer than they should. And that’s ok too.
They are learning about the emotions that our generation of parents have been accused of shielding them from for too long. Sadness. Disappointment, Anger. Loss. We cannot give them everything they want, and they are learning to cope with that.
We are no longer raising the snowflake generation. We’re raising the generation of children who will change their world through kindness, empathy, understanding and compassion. We’re raising a generation who understand that physical and mental health must go hand in hand. We’re raising the generation that one day will make the world a better place.
And in fact, they already do. And I for one am very proud.