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  • Ryan Choy

Thoughts From a Father During COVID-19

It's a different world now, and the ways in which our children are assessed ought to be different, researched and explained.

It's the first day of school today for my son Tristan. By no fault of his, most of his world has been his mother and I, along with some very good friends. We are nervous and worried, but that is not the same as fear; he will adapt to this new normal just as we all have - so on the other side of the spectrum, we are hopeful, excited and happy. Our little man is growing up :) He may be stickier to us, and more hesitant about the world but he's also more sure of us and our bond with him is unbreakable because of that.

Recently, our PD shared that children learn to speak best by reading lip movements - then it hit me. Our children now live in a different world. They have no experiential concept of travel. Simple activities like just going down to play, or their CCAs, whether that be sports or hobbies or uniformed groups are almost non-existent.

A Different World

For Tristan, the world he knows is a quiet one; taxis, buses & trains are a silent journey where people don't talk because they can't/shouldn't.

They're "configured" to observe people's eyes & don't see smiles because everyone is masked up, so they literally learn about "smizes".

As Far As Lip Movement Goes?

Everyone is in masks. Even his teachers will be masked up - at home, there are several things we teach him like using handsigns, smiling & jumping, kicking/throwing a ball and identifying colours & items. We speak & read to him everyday but there are only so many hours & all he has in a maskless environment is us.

Whether or not lip movement is indeed crucial to speech development isn't important. It's the fact that the world we live in is different for our kids.

The usual rules don't apply anymore - the theories, worrying symptoms or development milestones are no longer as relevant to the current times so as parents, we have to harness the special qualities they have & hug them a little tighter because they're trying to adapt too.

Years or months from now, I hope that there are articles or studies about how COVID-19 has affected our children in terms of their development. Until then, the world may be different but I know we will stick together as a family & nothing will faze us for as long as we stick together.

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