Family Life 2020—in photos

Published 10 Dec 2020, 09:47 GMT
Kids and families get creative practicing social distancing at Dolores Park in San Francisco on May ...

Kids and families get creative practicing social distancing at Dolores Park in San Francisco on May 22.

 

Photograph by JOSH EDELSON / AFP via Getty Images

For parents, 2020 can't be over soon enough. Juggling remote learning and work-from-home, helping children deal with restrictive pandemic protocols, explaining racial protests and filling the void left by the social vacuum of lockdown has made family life this year something many would like to forget.

But as parents stepped up to manage crisis after crisis, one thing became clear: They were teaching their children crucial life skills that will stay with them throughout their lives.

For instance, parents helped kids find their resiliency throughout 2020 as they adjusted to at-home learning, overcame disappointing cancellations, and embraced the knowledge that even though their lives were being disrupted, their new way of living was helping to bring an end to the pandemic.

“Thank-you cards were sent to healthcare workers and first responders. Drive-by birthday parties kept grandparents safe. Mysterious sidewalk chalk messages brought messages of hope.”

“The key is to be mentally flexible, learn how to problem-solve, and accept change as a challenge rather than an obstacle,” says Mary Alvord, co-author of the Resilience Builder for Children and Adolescents.

That resiliency taught children about kindness, empathy, and creativity. Thank-you cards were sent to healthcare workers and first responders. Drive-by birthday parties kept grandparents safe. Mysterious sidewalk chalk messages brought messages of hope.

“Children are instinctively empathic,” says child psychologist Lisa Damour. “We should build on those instincts by asking them to imagine what would make another person happy.”

Children learned about racial justice when protests erupted across the country after the May 25 killing of George Floyd in the U.S., and the following demonstrations in London and elsewhere, giving parents an opportunity to talk to kids about race and racial discrimination, no matter how difficult the conversation.

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