Connectedness while being Quarantined
Connectedness while being Quarantined
It has been a lock-down period in India since March. Children and parents alike have been confined to home. A time ... may be first ever in one’s life ... when parents and children are together at home 24/7 for more than a month ... you cannot go out to work or to play, you cannot dine out, you cannot pay a visit ... only you and your family - all the time. The family is locked in!
What a beautiful opportunity to look in-side! kids-parents duo: a 14-day challenge emerged as an opportunity for parents and children to creatively work together, reflect together, serve together ... in the process to look inside to know each other more. We feel so happy to be able to become part of such an emergence.
Kids-parents duo: a 14-day challenge
Interested parents registered in the WhatsApp group. Every alternate day a set of tasks and some reflective questions were broadcasted. Participants got around one and a half-day to complete the task. They clicked a picture of their work or shot the process, wrote down the responses of the reflective questions and shared them in the group. The uniqueness of the challenge was that parents and kids worked together on a task and wrote down their individual responses to the reflective questions. The backbone of the event was the team of dedicated volunteers. They went through the works and responses of the participants and sent a gratitude note to each participant separately. There was also an online sharing circle on alternate day when participants and volunteers shared, played mindful games and expressed thank you to each other.
The tasks were designed around 7 themes: Gratitude, Connectedness, Moments matter, Mindful collaboration, Harmony, Creative orderliness, and Kindness. Along with every task broadcasted a prayer related to the theme had also been shared. The intention was to draw the attention of the participants to the higher qualities through some deep thinking. The nature of the tasks was two-fold. Some tasks resulted in creating some craft works such as bookmarks, greeting cards, jigsaw puzzles, desktop calender for 2021, pocket diary and so on. Other kinds of tasks were activities such as creating one’s own recipe, cooking and serving; drawing and simultaneously instructing the partner for drawing the same picture (Listen-Follow-Draw) ; finishing some procrastinated work together; designing a sequence of collaborative warm-up exercises and so on. The participants have been requested to courier the craft works to us once the lock-down is over which we will later showcase in an exhibition and the sale proceeds will be forwarded to the corona fund.
Such an enthralling experience of connectedness in this environment of isolation is so much cherishing. Around 30 kids-parents team from all over India participated in the challenge and 9 volunteer-mentors worked dedicatedly to make the challenge meaningful. How wonderful it is to see that the connectedness with the tasks, with the partners and with the volunteer-mentors has emerged so naturally during the event.
Connectedness with the self
Every task was accompanied with a set of reflective questions which was connected to the theme of the day.
The idea was to invite the participants to become more mindful about one’s self, one’s feelings and that of the partner while being engaged in some activity. One parent shared about the reflective questions
“... thoroughly enjoying, reflection is the most important part. What consciously we don’t do is sort of reflections”.
While reflecting over the “Listen-Follow-Draw” task, participants shared their strength and weakness. They commented on their listening habits, their ability for giving instruction and so on. They could also observe their own feelings. Some children shared they got very agitated and frustrated when they failed to follow the instruction. Some parents shared that they practised patience. Some shared how they planned for how to deliver the instruction before they started the activity. One parent shared
“whenever we tried to compete, we were missing. Whenever we tried to cooperate, there was more success.”
Connectedness between participants and volunteers
Here I must mention the gratitude note. Each review-response of the volunteers was made into a beautiful gratitude note and shared with the participants in the group. With so much dedication volunteers have gone through the works, with so much patience they have written down their gratitude note and finally with such zeal our creative volunteers have captured them in beautiful frames that the event touches a standalone height of kindness and gratitude. How I wish to publish here each and every gratitude note that the volunteers have prepared so meticulously and so punctually!
Parents and children in their final feedback form expressed their gratitude in these words:
“The appreciation from the team to everyone's tasks made everyone realise that such positive gestures give a lot of satisfaction and encourage everyone to work more..”
“we could see their heart and mind in the feedback”.
“Deeply touched by the feedback. What an elaborate one!!! It exactly says everything that we went through in an apt manner. ...”.
“Every feedback has been clear and well-expressed. Kids loved it”
Connectedness between the parents and kids
It is such heart-warming to see how parents and kids have written about their partner in the feedback form. Here is a short feedback story: This offering is an emergence from the hearts of participants of a virtual program aired by Anahad Center for Education, Anahad Hyderabad on 1st of April 2020 Pearl of wisdom (A poem composed by Kids Parent Duo collective)
One child shared during the zoom circle
“when we work with friends, sometimes we do not agree. With parents, they are more considerate. They consider your ideas much more than your friends”
Such a sense of security is felt in this 11 years old’s voice ...
Connectedness at its height
The most amazing emergence was a poetry that was woven during the last zoom circle by the participants. We started the circle with a prayer song by Rabindranath Tagore on the theme harmony. Each participant was requested to write four words that had come to their mind after the song was played. Once written, the partners were asked to exchange the words among each other and write a sentence for each word. At that point one new participant joined the call. Since she did not have any context, we asked her to give impromptu a sentence on the theme, harmony. She offered a sentence “there was a mysterious order in the chaos”. The ball rolled. We requested each participant to give one sentence from their list of sentences that could follow the previous suggested sentence. After every pair had shared their sentence, one participant volunteered to rearrange the sentences. And thus, the final poem emerged which is shared below. The poem speaks volumes about the spirit of the kids-parents duo: a 14-day challenge.