Finding the Silver Lining as a Parent During Lockdown

Article written by Shahista Thokan at Silver Lining Workshop Facilitation

2020 has proven to be quite prosperous thus far. With the March calendar filling up fast and workshops to coordinate, I was in my element. And then overnight, a decision to self-isolate, social distancing, and then lockdown.  It all happened so quickly and even though drastic, it was a necessary one for the safety and protection of the country, the nation, and its people.

The thought of being isolated for 21 days with my 4 boys was daunting. A shutdown from normality, no school obligations and certainly no routine. Not to mention, no domestic worker to help. The world in complete crisis with panic and uncertainty hanging over us like a dark cloud. And my home-life feeling just the same! 

The first 3 days were a sheer novelty- late nights and even later mornings, staying in pajamas for most of the day and binge-watching our favorite shows. Then through the side of my eye, I noticed the laundry pile up and empty mugs lying around the house. This is when I realized I needed to adult again. I woke up the next morning with much vigor and enthusiasm to put a plan into action. 

“Many hands make light work.” The mantra propelled me to push forward. There were lists to be made, discussions to be had, and work to be done. The idea was to place my career on the back burner until the home was functioning like a well-oiled machine. Or so I thought…. It has been a week and I am still wrangling in the troops and working a system. I now know that it is an ongoing process. I have made peace with that and am grateful for the growth in it all.

The most surprising aspect has been my kids and their enthusiasm to participate. I could attest that to the screen time reward system I have going. An incentive scheme of sort. With all this time and very few constructive activities to choose from, I had to be creative. My plan was simple. List chores and assign each person within their capacity to perform it. Include fun interactive and creative skill development activities. With technology at my fingertips, ideas were in abundance.  

I especially love seeing my boys take up the challenges of baking and sweeping, those typically designated to females. It is heartwarming having them help lighten my burden of household chores and workload. It has given me the freedom of enjoying quality time playing games and doing fun activities with them which are quite out of the ordinary. We’ve had more conversations, deeper connections, and a lot less stress and anger. I have been forced to slow down and be patient in this teaching and learning process. To stop the rushing and to pause and enjoy each meal, each moment and each child. 

If I’ve learned anything from this lockdown, it’s that as parents we should really try our best with what we have. We will fail, struggle and get overwhelmed many a time, however, most importantly we need to be there for our kids. Be present and involved. During any uncertainty or change, we need to above all provide love, stability and comfort to our little ones. That is actually all they expect from us, need from us and hope to have. Perfection is unrealistic. There is no right way. You’ve got this!

About the Author:

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Shahista Thokan has always had an immense passion for people and their wellbeing.  After graduation with a Business degree, Shahista’s true calling was in Education where she felt she could assist in positively impacting young minds.

Holding multiple tertiary degrees, Shahista prides herself as a long learner focused on the self-betterment.  As an internationally qualified life coach and marriage counselor, her reach has since extended from her classroom and guiding people through their life journey.

Being a public speaker, radio show host and content producer, Shahista is constantly transforming and embracing new experiences with the most recent enjoyment of tapping into her creative ability of writing poetry for various blogs.

About Silver Lining Workshop Facilitation:

Vision: To provide skills & development training through conducting workshops and holistic mental & emotional healing through the coaching of all clients towards the upliftment of society. 

Mission: To equip individuals & groups through interactions so that they may be upskilled, educated and confident to be functional as contributing members of society and in their various relationships. 

Services have been provided for both professional & personal development, different dynamics viz. children, adults, couples & groups incl. employees and of different diversities. These include tailor-made workshops & training events, motivational & guest speaking, and developing customized manuals for skills development and learning. An extension of this is working with various charities, clinics and rehabilitation centers to better assist them with their cause and aid them through a network of resources. Facilitation of communication skills courses based on Emotional Intelligence and equipping work environments to become future-fit.