Sunday, April 26, 2020


I don't want to harp on about the coronavirus and the lockdown etc.

So I won't.

I do want to tell you about some of the nice nooks and crannies of parenting that the whole thing has magnified.

Middle foster child is nearly ten, going on twenty-seven.

Child used to regard the difficulty of going to sleep as a big problem. Being awake half the night left the child exhausted by midday and lonely and frightened the following 2.00am. The child had to try to sleep see, because it was school in the morning and it gets pointed out to them they mustn't yawn in class.

Anyway, sleep is no problem any more. Everything is on the button.

Rises as and when, usually about 10.30-11.30am. I've talked with friends with similar-aged children, it's normal, if not exactly copy book.

Eats a brunch instead of breakfast just like swanky top end people do at weekends, then rattles through the schoolwork set for him (which is working really well for him, I k now it's difficult in a lot of homes).

Then goes back to bed.


Gets going proper about 4.00pm, gearing up for friends time. This is how it is for our foster children right now, if not children of all types everywhere; their network is virtual.

How fantastic is that!

When I was a kid my potential friends were limited to neighbourhood kids and kids in our school class. About 5 to 10 possibles…

Middle foster child has access to just about every potential friend…in the world! And it's being used!!

People my age often go "Tut tut!" about the internet, they've probably enjoyed their diet of it's dangers. I'm doing a Blue Sky training session on internet safety shortly, yes it can be a danger but wow it can be an absolute boon.

So child gets going on the PC about 6.30pm, because that's when child's gang are showing up. They're mostly Americans. Child has a buddy in Nebraska, someone in San Jose, another in Canada and a German dude who stays up into the night like our kid.

Our kid gets every new internet friend up on visuals to be sure it's not a 47-year-old with a dodgy agenda.

Then…they play! Not just... 'play' because 'play' is far more than a meaningless pleasure.They explore stuff like friendships and empathy and loyalty and conflicts and - maybe best of all - how to win by bonding and sticking together.

They learn their place among others.

They begin to find out who they are and who they want to be, and close the gap between.

They aren't just hanging around on a patch of playground tarmac talking about whether their Physics teacher is loopy. They're on some virtual planet pitched in as a unit to go head to head against a bunch of armed dinosaurs or whatever. It's active, it's interactive…most of all it's fun. Jeez, shouldn't we all be looking for ways to have fun right now?

This pandemic is truly awful, it's taken so many lives and will take more. Perhaps we will have to live with the threat for a very long time.

But it's not disrespectful to those who are suffering to hope that, human nature being the heroic thing it is, some good comes from it.


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