Photo by Terri Czaplewski, US Forest Service

COLUMN

ZYTARUK: Hey Surrey, time to break out a bored game

Anyone else starting to feel like they’re an outpost?

homelessphoto

So let it be written…

I’ve been working from home for more than three weeks now, and already I’m starting to feel like an outpost. I’ve often wondered what it would be like, stuck up alone in a ranger’s tower out in the wilderness, keeping watch for wildfires.

Think I’m getting a sense of it.

This self-isolating is probably making some people crazy. I was just saying that to the toaster, but in truth it’s not much of a conversationalist.

It replied that the refrigerator has been making far too much noise, and I’m inclined to agree, because I’m getting quite prosperous around my mid-section as a result of its protestations.

Maybe I’ll pick up a book.

Dickens?

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…

If I hear COVID-19 one more time, I think I’ll pop a vein in my forehead.

Then again, despite the horror of this pandemic, most of us have been given a rare gift in this hurried world of ours – and that’s time.

Time for a good book, time for yet another trip to the fridge, or best of all, for the fortunate among us, time for family.

TIME!

It’s an opportunity I guess for people of all ages living under one roof to interact with one another and engage in what some people might consider to be an old-fashioned board game – you could call them bored games – like Monopoly or whatever.

Tanya Broesch, a psychology professor at Simon Fraser University and mother of two young children, ages six and nine, knows the score.

“Oh exactly, we’ve already played that a couple of times,” she says.

“I think that’s obviously a silver lining. Look, we were over-scheduled, right? We all were.”

READ ALSO: Psychologist’s advice on parenting in the pandemic

They didn’t call it the rat race for nothing. Now streets are often almost empty.

There’s not many people who can truthfully say they weren’t busy, Broesch observes, hearkening back to the pre-virus days of not-so-long-ago.

While we’re undoubtedly overburdened now, “we’re not necessarily over-scheduled. But most families don’t get to spend a lot of time together.”

My, how times have changed.

“So you get to spend more time together and you get to know your kids, because if they’re going to school until 3 o’clock and then they’re going to activities, and then it’s supper, bath, bed, you know, you don’t get to have those talks and really get to know one another, so I think that’s one sort of silver lining for families that are fortunate enough to be able to have time together. I know a lot of families are working and it’s just a juggle.”

Broesch, whose field of expertise is child development, says it’s now time to seize that opportunity, to try to look for that “silver lining” to get through these trying times and always stay connected.

Broesch says kids “need something called mutual joy.”

They need to spend time with their caregiver, “that primary attachment figure, the dad, the mom, the grandparent, whoever it might be, with that caregiver attending to them and enjoying them,” she says.

“Try to enjoy your kids for at least just a few minutes a day. Sit down, look them in the eye, listen, and just enjoy whatever it is that they’re doing. I think it’s really important, even if it’s just a few minutes a day. A lot of us have missed out on that for a long time, and it is critical. It can help kids get through this.”

So let it be done.

homelessphoto

Dr.Tanya Broesch, psychologist. (Submitted photo)



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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