As we all know, during these months of ‘lockdown’ when the Chadorim and schools have been closed there have been major changes in all our lives. At first, Mothers worried how on earth they would manage, how would they cope with their household tasks and responsibilities with a houseful of children around 24 hours a day?
Many were concerned and anxious but wonder of wonders, as the weeks have gone by I am hearing that not only are they coping well but it much easier than they ever imagined. They are even enjoying it and see enormous benefits: · No pressure to dress quickly, have breakfast, and catch the school van. · No pressures of homework. · No rush to get the washing and ironing down · No need to look at the clock – meals are leisurely, time to chat & laugh. · No nagging sleepy bachurim to get up early. · No rush to catch an early minyan · No Simchas, no events, so parents aren’t in a rush to go out in the evenings. · No rush to get the children to bed. · More time to enjoy the family, more time to talk, more time to listen. · More time to look at the flowers, the ducks, the tortoises in the parks, the stars. Before Corona, no one had time to do anything.
Now we have all the time in the world.
Children are skipping, skating, running, jumping on trampolines, playing ball – all good healthy stuff that our children don’t get enough of. This is all wonderful but the best is yet to come…
I am hearing from Mothers who are blessed with ‘difficult’ children (children who always argue, who are always krechzing & complaining & uncooperative; children on Ritalin; children who can’t get to sleep at night etc) that their children have changed sometimes dramatically. They are more relaxed; easy-going; co-operative, stopped arguing & fighting; they concentrate for longer and are easy going and happy.
Parents have also seen physical improvements like one child who has had a runny nose for several years, had many courses of antibiotics, and had his adenoids & tonsils removed – with no improvement. Since corona, all his symptoms disappeared completely, like magic.
Shouldn’t this all be telling us something: Our children are under too much pressure. · Children don’t have enough time to relax, play and have friends · Cheder hours should be shorter with organized games & sports in break time. · Homework should be abolished. Girls need to have time to help their mothers, have fun with their family and friends, and be available for Chesed projects.
Aren’t we trying to bring up a generation of Yerei Shomayim, sensible people with good Midos, reasonable people who can calmly discuss differences of opinion without arguing?
I claim that children brought up in a more relaxed environment, grow up relaxed and reasonable and healthy in mind and body.
When I was the Director of the Light & Sound Therapy Centre, many, many local children came for treatment for poor concentration, learning disabilities, behavior problems, social difficulties, and depression. In every case where my advice for structured exercise and sports was followed, there were very significant improvements. Hakodosh Baruch Hu gave us unlimited fresh air with unlimited oxygen. Most of the oxygen we breathe in is used for our brain. Lack of oxygen causes brain injury. Whenever your child gets ‘out of breath’ and breathes deeply, his concentration, his mood, his behavior, his learning, and his physical health improve.
So if we want our children to have the best opportunities to shine in every way they need to run, play ball, swim, jump.
Now Corona is hopefully coming to an end. Let us try to help our children by less pressure, more activity, more exercise, and no homework.
Mrs. Z. Landau
North London, England