What our kids teach us as journalists

Our children seem to be taking the lockdown better than we are, so we asked Metro Plus moms what they’d learnt from theirs

With the Metro Plus team working from home — some from their dining tables, some from a couch, or from off a floor cushion — we asked moms with school-going children what they’d learnt from their kids during this period of the coronavirus lockdown. Here’s what they came up with, after the initial, “Are you serious?”

Make do with the space you have: Rudra N Krishna  
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Life on a balcony can be fun

The lockdown has suddenly shrunk my four-year-old’s world. Now, his days are populated by four adults – his parents and his grandparents – all of whom tend to say ‘no’ and ‘don’t’ often. Yet his spirits are never low and he is constantly looking at what to do next. So what if we can’t go out? Dig up an old toy and re-explore its forgotten awesomeness. As a journalist, there’s a lesson for me: Stop fretting and look at things anew.

It also surprises me how efficiently he uses the limited space our two-room apartment affords. He has converted the balcony into a permanent race track, where he races his miniature cars. He has even created a dirt track by digging out mud from the planters. By the time I find something to engage him, he is already onto his next indoor adventure, wearing his sneakers. “Why are you wearing them, we aren’t going anywhere?” I ask and he replies: “I am going to the cycle workshop (the bedroom balcony). You want to come?”

Anasuya Menon, Kochi, mother of Rudra N Krishna, 4

Practise what you preach: Sanchita N  
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Practise what you preach

Whenever my doctor husband returns from hospital, she asks if he used masks and gloves and sanitised his hands. She has her online classes but always makes an evening drink or snack or dessert that she’s learnt from YouTube. She makes me dance every evening and both of us are learning to play the guitar together. Now she constantly reminds me to practise what I preach: No matter what the hardships, be positive and keep smiling.

Soma Basu, Madurai, mother of N Sanchita, 14

Live in the moment: S Aanshi  
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Live in the moment

My seven-year-old doesn’t escape coranavirus news, but thankfully it doesn’t affect her as much as I had feared. She is goofing around, cheerful, and playing with her teddy bear. We explained the frequent hand washing routine through a drawing and she makes even the teddy wash hands. I have started playing badminton in the evenings with her and it is an hour of laughing, talking, and just being happy. It teaches me to leave my irrational fears and anxieties, and be happy in the now.

Neeraja Murthy, Hyderabad, mother of S Aanshi, 7

Set up a routine for yourself: Anagha Anand  
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Work to a timetable

When work from home (WFH) was announced, my 13-year-old daughter declared, “Don’t cramp my style,” meaning I should not interfere with the pace she has set for herself. She ‘works’ to a timetable, which includes reading, catching up with friends over WhatsApp, Snapchat or Instagram, plenty of Netflix and Amazon Prime, snacking, self-care, painting, and dancing .Not once has she complained about being bored. Anagha’s schedule got me thinking of setting a routine for myself.

Shilpa Nair, Kochi, mother of Anagha Anand, 13

One thing at a time: SJ Jasmyn  
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Take one thing at a time

Armed with her crayons and colour pencils and a colouring book, my older daughter is engrossed in colouring in the morning. It is always one image at a time. My calls or writing don’t distract her. I have learnt to replicate the same while working. I set an achievable deadline and it has been rewarding.

She also keeps moving. Something as simple as running up stairs, a dozen times, during the day. I realised this physical activity boosts your mood instantly. When stuck with a story, I take a quick run upstairs and it leaves me totally charged and able to approach my story with a fresh mind.

K Jeshi, Coimbatore, mother of SJ Jasmyn, 5

It’s all about time management: Armaan Jetti
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Manage time

My son switches effortlessly between his online classes to playing guitar to even chatting with his friends. For someone new to WFH, I tend to constantly worry about the next day’s work. He promptly winds up his classes and moves on to other activities, I feel I should do the same and not check every day whether the lockdown ends on April 14.

Vijaya Mary, Hyderabad, mother of Armaan Jetti, 16

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