Guest Contributor, Sibok Lloyd Fridenburg

Parent’s Corner

First off, be sure to read the column written by Sifu Rikin. It is very timely and is a topic that all parents will relate to.

Having come from a very different generation, I can’t imagine the pressures being put on families in this time of isolation and uncertainty. Schools are closed, kids can’t visit their friends, normal routines no longer exist, and a return to some kind of normality seems to be a constantly moving target. So how do you keep the kids entertained throughout this upheaval? Perhaps that perspective is the problem, and not the solution.

Parents today are overwhelmed by the seemingly endless wants and needs of their children. Baseball, soccer, gymnastics, dance, and video games. Perhaps you should view our present circumstances as an opportunity to take back your kids. Work to instil your values without the encumbrance of all the external influences that typically bombard your kids. Become the teacher by realizing that things like morals, ethics, compassion, respect, inclusion, and responsibility need to come from you as parents and not from teachers, coaches, or other instructors. If you rely on external sources, including the school system, you are allowing others to have an undue influence on the psychological and moralistic growth of your kids.

You have been presented with a unique opportunity that will have an impact on your kids for the rest of their lives. Talk to them about your hopes and dreams; teach them how to cook, clean, and organize. Teach them the value of sitting quietly and observing nature; use current events as a learning tool and openly discuss them with your kids. Develop new routines, as well as maintaining existing ones where you can, including their Kung Fu routine.

This is an excellent opportunity for you as parents to become directly involved in their Kung Fu training. Instead of plunking them in front of the computer screen and hope they will be a willing participant in class, join them and help them take full advantage of the virtual classes. Help them understand the necessity of adapting to circumstances and show them that things really haven’t changed as much as it may seem. Be there to help them overcome physical and psychological problems.

You can view this submission as words of wisdom, or you can view it as the ramblings of a curmudgeonly old guy that doesn’t understand modern day parenting. But you can view pandemic isolation as a problem or as an opportunity. Personally, I think you have been handed a golden opportunity. Make the best of it, many years down the road your kids will thank you.