Modern parenting includes self-education on a level that previous generations never likely imagined. In a time when less was truly more, baby boomer parents didn’t read blogs and articles about bullying, navigate gender identity, nor did they need to monitor handheld computers in the palms of tweeners. They had to deal with TV time, but the advent of home computer was a welcome luxury, not a source of addiction. The struggle is real.
These challenges are of course the byproducts of progress and opportunity, and I wouldn’t want to go back to a time where bullies ruled the schoolgrounds or when kids felt unloved in their skins and unable to express their inner selves without fear of exile. Now of course, parenting in the age of COVID has added another layer to the multi-flavored cake of childrearing.
If you are parent in the school district, you are among hundreds in the valley who have recently received COVID notification emails with detailed information and instructions regarding cases and outbreaks, include free test kits from the district. This is helpful, so thank you Methow Valley School District for continuing to help parents navigate what seems like a never-ending facet of life.
If you are not affiliated with the school district, you should know that COVID is circulating among the community’s school-aged kids, and take precautions as needed. The bivalent boosters that should help with the newer strains of Omicron are here, so check with a local clinic to get your defenses up for the winter.
I contracted COVID in June, and it wasn’t fun. I had my booster yesterday and so far, a little body aches, but nothing like the real thing. Also, flu — according to the pharmacist at Walmart in Omak, they have already been dispensing Tamiflu, so it’s here too.
Back to parenting in the 21st century. We can use all the help and support, wisdom and guidance that can be imparted. Parenting involves self-learning, given it’s the only job that we get offered with zero training and formal education. But parents with children with special needs are on the forefront of learning how to parent their unique children.
To build community and support for families with intellectual, developmental and/or physical disabilities, the first Family Fun Day will be held in Winthrop’s Mac Lloyd Park on Saturday (Oct. 1) from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Hosted by the Okanogan Parent to Parent program through Okanogan Behavioral Health, the day will include games and information for families with special needs.
The program is seeking caregivers and experienced parents of kids with special needs to serve as (unofficial) mentors, to impart their knowledge and insights to the younger parents who are newer to the world of special needs. Therefore, parents of older and adult children with special needs are invited to attend as well.
Finally, after a socially fractured couple years following the COVID isolation, many parents feel disconnected. Even longtime friends lost bonds during the lockdown and have yet to rekindle them. Many new families relocated to the valley during the pandemic to find it difficult to figure out how to get involved.