Italy – "We're lucky to be six." Pandemic experienced in the family

(ANS - Rome) - It is not easy to deal with emergencies and social confinement with four children under the age of 10 at home. Yet there are those who do so with creativity and prudence, considering the large family an added value in this moment of great difficulty. To offer a similar testimony are Marta and Nicola, two Salesian animators linked to the Valdocco of Rome, the Borgo Ragazzi Don Bosco.

Marta is 33 years old, lives in the Roman district of Centocelle together with her husband, Nicola, and their four young children, who are in elementary and kindergarten. Their family was born in the Roman oratory of "Borgo Ragazzi Don Bosco". Now that even the oratories are empty, it is in the houses that one can "animate" in the term's most profound sense: loving and educating.

"We have always conceived our family as being open to life, which does not only mean welcoming the children the Lord gives you, but also opening up to others," says Martha. Today the daily challenge is to live the pandemic at home and explain all this to children. "Every day we ask ourselves how we can live this period with our children. We strongly desire to look after our children, taking care of everything: the body, the emotions, the spirit… Take care of, safeguarding, means everything, it means protecting, but also giving the right spaces, understanding your child and making the most of the time available. Safeguarding today means protecting their health, so not leaving home. Not exposing them to unnecessary risks."

Safeguarding, however, also means giving something. "We are trying to make the most of this time with them, away from courses, commitments, appointments. The growth relationship with them now means growth and play, empowerment and listening."

"There are four children, each one,"  explains Marta, "must have its own spaces and it is important to find a balance throughout the day ... The fact of being a family of six is ​​a positive element, for me it is being fortunate. A large family is an opportunity and we are enjoying it together."

To psychologically support children in this phase, surely proximity is required. Keep your spirits up, animate, just like at the oratory. "This is a great resource. We did camping and a picnic at home," she says smiling.

Children now more than ever want to have contact with friends, relatives, teachers. In this sense, the use of technology is fundamental. "They usually don't use these tools a lot ... But now they have lectures in the conference, this is important! Technology isn't just about watching television or playing on the tablet, and now we can explain, make it even more understandable for children. In this way we will be able to make them feel closer to the people they love."

The important thing, in any situation, is to adopt the right approach. As Marta wrote on her Facebook page: "You're not stuck in the house; you are safe in the house. Change your perspective."


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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