Are There Societal Silver Linings To Lockdown?
I’ve often wondered what the effect is of sectioning off age groups is.
In families where intergenerational living and few siblings are common, we spend a great deal of our lifetimes with people our own age:
At day care and preschool with other under 5s
Primary school with other kids
High school as a teen with teens
Study/early work/travel with other young adults
Work with other adults
Then we hit mat leave, caring (largely alone) for someone in an age group we’ve rarely had intensive contact with since age 5 at best, and wonder why it’s so damn hard.
There are so many people doing it tough right now, and I don’t want to downplay anyone’s acute hurt or the collective prolonged ache, but I do wonder...
Will we see a generation of young people who know their families and even teachers value their wellness more than their grades?
Will we see a cohort of children who are more emotionally ready to learn in a classroom when they start school at 7 instead of 5, like they do in Finland whose academic results are far better than ours?
Or a group of older siblings who get a better glimpse into what caring for babies is like?
Or a group of teens who didn’t escape for a gap year or move out and realised their parents weren’t actually that bad at age 17 instead of 10 years later?
Or even a group of dads who couldn’t escape their little kids, and remembers that slog the next time someone returns from maternity leave, instead of asking how her “holiday” was?
A group of mums who realised they can show their children what meeting (some) of their own needs looks like in practice, instead of squashing it in the milliseconds between cleaning up and work calls while the kids were at school?
Maybe I’m too optimistic, or clutching at straws here, and obviously this isn’t going to be the case for a lot of families under stress and systemic disadvantage.
Surely there’s something good to come from all this though.
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