By Ada Leivada
Since the outbreak of the new coronavirus in China, the whole world is facing the ramifications of an unprecedented pandemic that will gravely influence the near future. In the last few weeks, when the virus has most severely affected Europe and the US, many people saw their shops closing, their children’s schools shutting down and their whole way of life changing.
All these upheavals have resulted in a great number of people who are taking leaves of absence to stay home with their children or are taking advantage of the option of remote work, and thus ending up spending a great deal of time with kids at home.
The combination of simultaneously having to process the current situation and spend a large amount of time with restless children — who are not used to staying in and who do not understand their parents’ anxiety — has brought many people’s stress levels to a maximum.
“My kids spend all their time in front of the computer.”
“Stop playing computer games and read a book!”
“Five more minutes and then you absolutely have to do your homework!”
Do any of these sentences sound familiar? There are many parents out there who sincerely try to win the battle against technology, and there are definitely even more now that their children have some extra free time on their hands.
While homebound, children tend to spend a lot of time on their computers and phones, while parents often urge them to stop doing so altogether. During times like this, however, technology can be parents’ best friend.
As long as they stop trying to “win” the battle, and start treating technology as an ally and find a happy medium.
Here are some suggestions which will reduce both parents’ and children’s cabin fever and make sure kids spend some creative and fun time at home using technology in the best possible way. And why not see this as a time to boost their “Greekness” a bit at the same time?
Make comics together. A lot of kids and teenagers love comic books. They love reading them and they would definitely enjoy making one too. There are websites and programs one can find online designed to help anyone make a comic book on their own.
And if they can do this, why not do it in Greek? Or maybe if this is too difficult, parents could at least encourage their children to use characters from Greek mythology.
In this way, they will have found something extremely creative to do together and they will have also managed to get them to use their time to practice their Greek a bit. And the best part of this is that parents will not have to fight to keep kids away from their computers.
Vlogging. Kids love youtubers! If you ask a group of 12 to 15 year olds what they want to be when they grow up, half of them will say “a youtuber.” Maybe this is the chance for parents to encourage children to do something creative instead of just watching their favorite youtubers for hours. How about vlogging together instead?
Parents can be the director and their child can be the star youtuber, talking about their day, pretending they are chefs cooking Greek recipes their grandma makes or reviewing movies they love. Another idea is to even try working on it and doing it in the Greek language.
New technology has gifted us with the chance to be able to make our own “movies” by simply using our phones. In times like this, sharing a family video with friends and family who are also confined at home might be a great way to lift their spirits and help especially young children and teenagers feel connected.
Greek language classes. To keep children involved with something more educational and fun that will also involve remote socializing, parents could organize group lessons in Greek.
The worldwide online school Greek Lessons OnLine is experiencing the great popularity that online education has recently gained. Feeling the obligation to give back to its students, it has taken the initiative to start free group lessons of Greek for young Greek LOL students.
In this way, while schools are closed, children can start Greek classes with their cousins or best friends from their church Greek school in one of Greek LOL’s online classes. As a result, they could use this time to improve their Greek through fun lessons designed to be based on their needs and aiming to keep them interested in Greek language and culture.
Learning Greek at Greek LOL at this time mostly aims to make sure children are active parts of an online community that is stronger than ever during trying times when everybody needs a jolt of good spirits and motivation.
Let’s all hope we stay healthy, calm — and connected — through technology, which can be a meaningful “friend” offering educational and creative opportunities to both adults and children while aiming to keep people together while they are physically apart.