Reflection Time- (read what we did today here!)
Reflection is an important part of playwork. We actively consider both our feelings and our motives for doing and speaking as we did- we look at the wider context and we question what our underlying beliefs, attitudes and values are that make us act, think and feel the way we do. It also doesn't assume we are always correct. This is called the double loop learning method. It helps us objectively consider our practice (what we say to others that we know and believe) by becoming aware of our simultaneous intuitive and subjective experience (what we do).
(Reflective Playwork by Jackie Kilvington and Ali Wood)
COVID19 is a wake up call on many fronts. It has disrupted our “normal” lives. But what actually was our norm? My suggestion is to reflect. These are some of the questions I asked myself:
What were you worried about two weeks ago? What are you worried about now?
What is the most important thing to you right now?
How did you lead your lives previously and what did you think was important?
Were you happy then? And now?
What did my life consist of before “social distancing”? I feel there has been social distancing in some way or another for decades now but this is a whole other level. (I mentioned in our day today we had a zoom call with our family abroad which made me funnily feel connected)
Previously I thought about climate change and how it is a major concern for our children. We have a compost and we try to reduce buying packaged items. We show them that brand names are not important and we eat mostly vegetarian. I thought about how my middle child is strong willed and over-dramatic. I thought about getting that grant in on time. I also thought about how I can make a difference for the children and families here in the Merced area with Play Adventures. I've been trying to find a location and start regular programming. I contemplated getting a paid job as well.
But now, I've been thinking about helping my children adjust to these strange times, every now and again freaking out and then becoming calm again. I've been thinking about my children and getting through the day happily or fulfilled. Maybe hoping helping a few others get through their day with this blog!
In this time I want my children to have the opportunity to continue and feel secure in these insecure times, I want them to be able to explore and discover themselves by having time to follow their interests. I will support them in their academics but mostly I want to be with them. They are resilient, and even if they are scared and stressed one thing won't change and that's our strong family connection.
What has changed? What are your worries now?
Reflect more and see what you choose to value and what is just noise.
More questions I posed to myself:
If/When things go back to“ normal” is that really what we want for ourselves and our kids?
Do you enjoy the overloaded schedules and the constant work routine?
Do you love schlepping your kids to a different practice or activity every day or most days? Is this what's going to give them a better future?
Do you think academic stress at kindergarten age is really necessary in order to have successful children or to claim yourself as a “successful” parent?
I already know the answers to most of these questions but didn't have the courage or strength to fight societal norms. My children’s needs are what I am focused on now. Writing every night is what I do for myself and for you (hopefully you enjoy)