Hot Topics     Home and Family    

Covid-age skills going forward



Being forced to learn new skills will ultimately help you

Being forced to learn new skills will ultimately help you


As hard as it may be to grasp, some of the skills we’re being forced to learn and/or hone due to the Covid-19 pandemic could – and likely will – serve us well in the post-pandemic years. I’m talking both specific parenting skills and so-called “soft skills,” i.e. character traits, personal attributes, and other non-technical abilities that help you work and communicate with other people. Like it or not, as we’ve needed to communicate in new and different ways, over Zoom, or in-person and protocol-conscious, those skills in particular have necessarily become sharper.

Granted, times remain hard, and most people I know would cringe – or worse – if someone said, “Look on the bright side!” Nevertheless, if you’ve needed to learn an online teaching platform, or help your child with it (or your child has helped you), or if you’ve been forced to do more in less time, congratulations, you are more than you were.

Speaking for myself, prior to March of this year, I could count on one hand how many FaceTime calls I’d made. (Not a fan.) I’d rarely engaged in Skype, and I’d never been on Zoom or Google Hangout. I’d never taken, or taught, an online class of any kind.

READ MORE: The caterpillar effect

As a guitar and bass teacher, and member of the Onteora School Board, I had to learn fast. I would not have thought I would master these platforms, but I have. Eight months on, I have lost count of the number of online lessons I’ve taught. I even played a surprise birthday party on Zoom for a friend’s wife – me in the Catskills, they in Tel Aviv, and various family members scattered across the U.S., all of us in little rectangles on laptops, singing. (Out-of-synch singing, but it was better than nothing.)

In a strikingly upbeat pep talk, writer Eileen Hoenigman-Meyer calls Zoom skills “Rock Star Professional Skills.” She notes how “communication is now a survival skill.”

To parents, she writes, “Every day, you’re blasting out various nuanced messages directed at kids, teachers, administrators, doctors, coaches, managers, and co-workers – a wealth of preparation, diplomacy, and detail shapes each initiative.”

Of course it’s not quite like that with anyone I personally know, but it’s nice to get the positive reinforcement, and an image of what could be if, in fact, one was as stellar and flawless as Hoenigman-Meyer imagines.



Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • Embracing tech in a healthful way

    Tech can be a friend to a family, here’s how

    Modern day parents are as much tech pioneers as their kids. Here are some helpful tips to ally with it in a productive, healthful way. read more »
  • Helpful strategies for dealing with OCD

    Understanding it’s a “brain glitch” is key

    OCD behavior in kids can be maddening and exasperating for caregivers. Psychologist Anna Prudovski shares her do’s and don’ts that tips can really help read more »
  • Safety Tips for Online Learning

    New learning environment, new guidelines

    Security expert offers helpful tips on how to be mindful of potential safety threats in the new environment of online learning. read more »
  • Thanksgiving in a pandemic

    HVParent readers share their plans for the upcoming holidays

    Hudson Valley Parent recently conducted a survey of its readers and asked how they were celebrating the holidays. Over 100 moms shared their Thanksgiving plans. read more »
  • A healthier parenting dynamic for tough times

    When the “good cop, bad cop” routine doesn’t cut it

    The Covid-19 Pandemic is causing particular strain on parents with different parenting styles who are now in closer contact. The article by Dr. Rebecca Schrag Herschberg from Psychology Today suggests ways to remedy the issues and still survive with a happy household. read more »
  • Distance learning blues…and laughs

    A mom shares her story of raising 4 kids during this trying time

    Writer mom Anne Fitzgerald shares how pandemic family life brings chaos, laughter, and perspective read more »
  • November is National Model Railroad Month

    Great hobby for kids and adults alike

    Model trains are such a great hobby. They come in all sizes. All price ranges. And over the years, it makes a great present that you can keeping adding on to. read more »
  • Preparing for a spike… or a surge

    If and when COVID-19 numbers go way up

    Some helpful tips on how to be proactive in the event of a surge in Covid-10 cases, more shutdowns, and more time inside read more »
  • Buy a new game for holiday fun

    A Hudson Valley Mom Approved list of 35 games to play at home

    As more of us are staying close to home, board games have increased in popularity. We asked our Hudson Valley moms what board games they like to play. read more »
  • Watch Maggie Smith raise her little kitten Pollo

    4-H Animal Science Online Program: “Cat Science - Raising Pollo”

    Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County’s 4-H Animal Science Program will begin a new educational online series called “Cat Science: Raising Pollo” hosted by Maggie Smith, 4-H Animal Science Program Manager. read more »