Welcome to 2021 and less than a fortnight in, it looks as though, as parents, we’re set for at least a few more months of disruption.
For the first January in many years, we don’t have a full year’s worth of face to face meet ups in our diary, because at the moment we have genuinely no idea when we’ll be able to walk through the doors of Funky Monkey, order a coffee, sit down on their comfy chairs and chat to other parents and carers.
Whilst most face to face activities have moved online, we haven’t been able to do this with our meet ups. As a parent and carer peer space, we simply have no way to ensure that conversations wouldn’t be overheard by people in the background if we “just used Zoom instead”, so in order to maintain confidentiality and ensure that our usual safeguarding practices remained in tact, we held our breath and waited. Our private Facebook group has however remained open as a safe space for discussions.
When the first lockdown kicked in all those months ago, we assumed that our private group would be unindated with parents and carers needing support but instead we’ve found that the group has been quieter than usual. There could be a number of reasons for this but it appears that a large portion of the explanation is that when you take school attendance out of the equation, some of the stress that comes with parenting a child or young person with ADHD simply disappears. The peer group drama, the issues around detentions for late attendance or a lack of equipment, cease to be a daily discussion if children don’t go to school every day. When bullying, issues with individual teachers and school bus incidents are not part of every day life, it seems that parenting changes. I don’t personally think that this means parents are having a lovely time day in and day out, just that the challenges are different.
As a child, essentially our life is very focused around what happens at home and what happens in school, and as parents our home-life is heavily influenced by the schools our children attend and their experiences there. We’re interested to see how this changes things for our families and we’d love to know more about the ups and downs.
We’ve decided that although we can’t hold our usual meet ups online that we will do some form of online event each month to try and replicate the info share that usually takes place at the start of our meet ups. We’re currently working out the best way to do that. Facebook Live has been suggested as a good idea because it doesn’t require anybody to log in or master video calling, Facebook is also good at prompting people with reminders, Facebook rooms is also a possibility however there are downsides. Both of these options require anyone attending to use Facebook and we know that not all our families use that platform, so we’ll give it some thought and let you know what we decide to go with.
Happy New Year