Book Review: “Raising Kids with Hope and Wonder in Times of a Pandemic and Climate Change”

I chose to read this book because of the importance it lays on raising resilient kids, especially in the extraordinary times we all are in. The book is written by famous author and columnist Ms. Kiran Manral and starts with a rather angsty conversation between her and sixteen-year-old son. “Are we all going to die?” is what he asks the author.

We all have faced such type of questions from our kids at one time or another. There are lot of other things as well in the book that one can resonate with as a parent. I am a mother of two boys, eleven and nine. My elder one is up to speed with the latest news (his general awareness is better than his Mom’s 😊).

The author talks about several relevant issues such as climate change which is the elephant in the room, we all should have acknowledged way back and its impact on us. We all were very happy to be in denial mode when the pandemic hit China thinking this is not going to happen to us. In fact, like most people, I had booked our tickets for the summer vacations.

Kiran touches the unprecedented experiences we had all gone through during the lockdown. She also talks about accepting the new normal (which is interestingly not defined till today!) and the sudden way of life we all are forced to be living in since the outbreak of Covid 19. One good thing that has come out of this madness is the much needed pause it has given, compelling us to turn inward.

The author also talks about the lack of physical activity and increase in screen time and what can we as parents do about it. Well I could resonate with the ideas as I have been following some of them too. My boys do contribute to the age appropriate household chores making them take ownership of the work and feel responsible too. I did enrol my kids for an Online Yoga and breathing Program in July itself. They have learnt few breathing practices which they now continue to do on their own.

The uncertainty of how long we have to live like this does create anxiety. The author rightly says that we must, as a parent, first address our own anxiety by being positive. This attitude will help our children too. She also stresses on answering the kids questions honestly.

Manral stresses the need for discussing actions which we can own and act on. This will give kids a sense of ownership and control, besides raising their awareness and hope.

“Look to the past and be assured that humankind has survived in worse conditions”-This thought is very important to give our kids “hope” amidst all the negativity.

Looking for the benefits in lockdown, I do have a long personal list here. Right from the precious time I am getting to spend with my family, doing the household chores together, taking additional responsibility if one member is pressed for time because of other commitments, enjoying the simple pleasures of life, learning to manage with what is available, mindful of our actions and their impact on others.

The e-book is available online, go ahead and enjoy the read !

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