Your Kids Have Not Been Harmed

The last year has been rough. It’s not how any of us would have chosen for things to go. Remote schooling. Missed birthday parties. Cancelled trips. No unnecessary trips to the store, no concerts or games from the bleachers. Lost time with older loved ones—maybe even lost loved ones. 

There’s no question—we missed out on stuff. It was a tragic event of historical proportions. But you have to catch yourself and how you think about it. Because it’s already becoming a narrative: Our kids have been irreparably harmed. They’ll never catch up in school. It’s not fair. It’s a generational trauma. 

No, what happened was life and you and your kids are going to get through this (and look at how much of it you’ve already been through!). Did you ever talk to your grandparents or great grandparents about their experiences as children during the Depression or WWII? Did you ever once hear them complain about how it screwed them over or ruined their lives? About how they never recovered? No, in fact, much of their wisdom and resilience was rooted in what they learned from living through those transformative experiences.

Why should this be any different? Why would you choose to grab the pandemic by any other handle (to use Epictetus’s phrase)? Yes, your kids have lost things. Yes, much of this was preventable. Yes, it was hard. But your kids—and you—have also gained things. You’ve learned things. You spent more time together. You were reminded of what was important. You have grown stronger for having to struggle. 

You have to see it that way—for their sake and yours.

P.S. This was originally sent on May 14, 2021. Sign up today for the Daily Dad’s email and get our popular 11 page eBook, “20 Things Great Dads Do Everyday.”

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