• Anja Dreyer

We don't have all the answers - and it's OK

Amidst the initial chaos of the pandemic, schools closed their doors and children had to stay at home with their parents during a hard lockdown. All of a sudden we had to wear masks and only come out when it was essential. We had to learn to carry hand sanitizer with us and before we went into a shop, our temperature was checked and we had to get the mandatory double spray of sanitizer. It all happened so fast before we could say "coronavirus" we were masked and sanitized and homeschooling our kids.

Three months down the line, the initial shockwave that ripped through the country has died down and parents and teachers have to return to "normal". Children are returning to schools and the teachers are there to welcome them. Even though everyone is very happy to see each other again, our children are left with more global uncertainty than ever before. They are looking to their adult mentors to guide them and they want answers. How can we give them answers when we ourselves are uncertain while being presented with an overload of information?

Let’s remind children that it's OK to be confused about how to do things now because everyone is unsure. That counts for teachers and parents, too. It's OK for us not to have all the answers right now. This is a learning curve for everyone, and it's good that our learners and children are getting to see that we're all just human.


It is fine to say “We don’t know, but we are working on it; or we don’t know, but we think.” Use this as an opportunity to learn something new with your child! - UNICEF

The most important lesson we can teach our children is that it's good to be honest about what they are feeling. It's also important for adults to show children their humanity because this leads to a deeper understanding of self, as well as teaching them that they can always trust you to be honest with them. It will also take the pressure off of them while growing up, knowing that their parents don't have all the answers but that they are willing to learn. If you teach them one thing during the pandemic, teach them that not having all the answers and being honest about it, is better than not having the answers and pretending you do. To err is human, after all.

If you're looking for more information on how to talk about COVID-19 with your children or learners, click here to check out UNICEF's advice page.



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