Now that the Coronavius has caused most Americans to practice social distancing, many of the things that we look forward to during Easter (like big family gatherings, religious services, fun family egg hunts) sadly aren’t going to happen this year. And it’s easy to grieve the loss of what makes this holiday so joyous, especially since there aren’t any clear signs when all of this will be over. But it’s still important to celebrate Easter this year during the Coronavirus pandemic. Although it might look different,
This year, Easter is on April 12, and most little chickies everywhere are going to be eggstra excited for the holiday. And that’s why parents have to put in their part and make sure that their children get to enjoy the holiday, even if it might not be the same as Easters past. “Remind your children that a modified Easter experience isn’t terrible or wrong,” says Amy KD Tobik, the Editor-in-Chief of AutismParenting Magazine. “Take a deep breath and make this Easter a happy memory for your family.”
Read on to learn how you can make this holiday extra hoppy for your beautiful little bunnies.
Put It Into Pespective
Between work demands and homeschooling, it can feel like we’re months into our quarantine—when it’s only really been a few weeks. So help your child realize that this situation is only momentary. “Remind your child that this shutdown is temporary, and life will eventually return to normal,” says Tobik. “Easter Day is about faith, and it’s also about hope.”
It can be hard to keep up a happy front when you’ve got so much on your plate, professionally and personally. But if you’re feeling down in the dumps, chances are your kiddo is going to pick up on it, too. “Kids feel our feelings, so take the time to process your own disappointment, grief or frustration before celebrations,” advises Julia Swaigen, MSW, RSW, a psychotherapist. “That way, you can show up at peace with those emotions and be in a good condition to help your children process theirs.”
Allow Your Child To Express Their Emotions
Believe it or not, all those days of being home from school probably haven’t been as much fun as your child might have imagined. They’re missing their friends, the routine of school, and (gasp) probably some of their teachers, too. So sit down and speak with your child about what they’re experiencing. “Children need to know that they are allowed to feel whatever they are feeling,” says Swaigen. “When children can share and process their emotions with supportive caregivers, they can start to see solutions and silver linings.”
Try To Keep Traditions
While some traditions might not be possible for Easter 2020 (like church services, etc), there are still many traditions that you can still practice. You can still get dressed up, paint Easter eggs, cook an amazing meal together, do fun crafts, and hang out together as a family. “Traditions and rituals help people (and especially children) feel safe,” says Swaigen. “Keep what traditions you can and focus on what is the same.”
Try Something New
Of course, there are going to be Easter-oriented events that you won’t be able to honor this year. But instead of feeling sad that you won’t be able to be a part of the Easter parade, find a way to do something entirely new — and exciting. “Replace the plans that aren’t possible this year with something new to shift the mood,” says Swaigen. For example, you might have a dance off at your house, create a culinary (and kid-friendly) masterpiece, or even do a new craft with your kiddos. And you never know—you just might adopt a new idea and make it a part of your holiday celebrations for years to come.
Although the kids might be upset that they can’t get to spend this special day with their friends and family, there’s no reason that they can’t. Get everyone together on Zoom and have a video conference call so that your children can still see their grandparents and loved ones. But take it one step further and assign an activity to your video chat. Maybe the kids can decorate Easter egg-shaped cookies together, or play charades — where bunnies and rabbits rule.
Sure, it might be hard to celebrate Easter this year during the Coronavirus pandemic, but that just might be a good thing. It will give your family the chance to explore new activities, adopt new traditions, and bond together in a way that they might not have until now. Ultimately, Easter is about faith and hope, which makes the holiday even more meaningful right about now.