30 Apr Message from the Head of School April 27
Dear Covenant Community,
I realize that some of my evening emails give information and some are more blog-like. I will try to put the information at the beginning of the email, so that if you don’t care to read further, you still won’t miss out on the information. No info tonight, just thoughts.
I can’t play video games. They make me so motion-sick that I have to take Dramamine and go to bed. I tried it once. Much to my children’s delight, I was awful at it. They kept having to hit the reset to give me another chance. I got a little better each time, and then I got sea-sick and it was all over.
I believe strongly that we get a little better each time we fail, as long as we are open to learning. This is what we tell the children, so we need to embrace it as well. I wonder if it might just be time to hit the reset button in your home. Now that we’ve lived in this alternate universe for a while, we can see where the cracks lie in the way we are managing. Maybe you’ve let some things go that need to be attended to or perhaps it’s time to consider revamping the family schedule or the expectations you have for your children. The good news is that we can always begin again.
St. Benedict, a 15th century monk, is credited with saying, “Always, we begin again.” It’s a simple statement but with profound insight and application. None of us enjoys being sidelined by this virus, with the daily uncertainty and feelings of inadequacy and discouragement. Every day and in every situation, I find solace in the contemplative assertion that not only can we begin again, but we always begin again. We always hit the reset. Beginning again, always beginning again, is the reality of life, as God’s mercies are new every morning, every hour, every moment.
So, if you’ve let your house run a little wide open, and it’s time to pull in the reigns a bit, now might be a good time to begin again. Maybe your children are melting down a little too often or getting away with some behavior you don’t usually allow. No problem, you can begin again. Perhaps you’ve been so engrossed with working from home that, you suspect, your children are getting the worst of you. No problem, you can begin again.
Have a family meeting and set the expectations moving forward. Children are concrete thinkers, so keep it concrete. What is the schedule? What are the expectations? What are the consequences? When can your children expect to have your full attention? Does everyone need a reset of bedtimes and wake-up routines, family exercise or time outdoors, meals and cleanup? Whatever the situation is in your home, I promise you that children want their parents to be in charge. Their anxiety is heightened when they think they are in control. As you regain control of the order in your home, it will become a better place for everyone.
And yet, however it looks after a few days, or a few hours, of your renewed sense of order, there’s one thing I can promise you; you will need to begin again. Because, always, we begin again.