This pandemic has us dealing with a slew of emotions from time to time. Most of us find ourselves battling fear, anxiety, and the dreadingly uncertain situation that this time has forced us into. Well, it could be the same for kids as well. As parents, it is our responsibility to make them feel safe and secure. Make sure they maintain a healthy lifestyle and come out the other side more resilient, both physically and mentally. Below we have listed down a few tips to help your children successfully survive this stressful time.
Talk To Children About Their Fears
Children look up to their parents for safety and security, both physically and emotionally. Let them know that you will always be there for them and will help them get through this chaotic time.
- Answer Your Child’s Questions Honestly
Instead of shielding your kids from reality, talk to them about the current situation. Openly discussing issues with children would help them be at much more ease. Let them know that following proper practices such as hand washing, wearing a mask, and social distancing will help the family stay safe and healthy.
- Address Your Child’s Feelings
The unprecedented lockdown may have them feeling confused and upset. It is important to recognize your kid’s emotions and make them feel valued. This would allow them to be more understanding of the situation and be open to sudden changes. If your kid is disappointed that they can’t hang out with their friends anymore, listen to them, and try offering an alternate solution that would help them enjoy their free time.
- Let Your Kid Know Before You Step Outside
Tell your child before you leave for work or daily errands. Let them where you are going, how long you will be gone for, and that you will stay safe.
Maintain A Healthy Routine
- It is more important than ever to follow a healthy routine. Break down the entire day for your kids with fixed schedules for waking up, playing, and studying. It is important that they have some kind of daily exercise as well, as playing outside is not an option for many. Also, make sure to manage their screen time when it comes to the internet and social media. Instead, encourage your child to pick up new hobbies such as reading or learning some form of art.
- Have your kids go to bed at a fixed time every day. This helps create a sense of order during these uncertain times, which in turn will help them with their physical and mental health. Moreover, too little and disrupted sleep adversely affects the attention span and memory. It also increases anxiety and hinders emotional stability. It is imperative that you have them turn their cell phones and other digital devices off at least an hour before bedtime.
Exercise Positive Reinforcement
With everyone stressed during the pandemic, it is quite normal for us to get irritated easily, especially around children. However, keep in mind that they are also going through a similar situation themselves. While small kids mostly act out on their emotions through various tantrums, teenagers usually tend to get easily annoyed as they can no longer go out with their friends as they did before. Below we list down some ways you could exercise positive reinforcement to help your child:
- Sometimes what comes out as bad behavior is nothing but battling boredom. As a parent, you could help them figure out what to do with their leisure time. Come up with ways for them to engage in creative play, such as building an indoor fortress, drawing pictures of the family, and so on. Ask your teenager to focus on things they are interested in, such as art, music, or even science.
- Positive discipline has been an effective way of dealing with kids. Notice when your kid does something good by pointing out and praising the behavior. You could even offer them small rewards and privileges. This helps them continue doing the same. On the other hand, try not to respond to bad behavior. Ignoring can also be quite an effective technique, as long as your child isn’t doing something dangerous.
- Make sure that you don’t resort to physical punishment. While it may seem effective at the moment, corporal punishment can have adverse effects on your child’s mental and, sometimes, physical health. It will also deter their sense of security, especially during this stressful time.
And finally, remember to take care of yourself. Managing and looking after your children can be hard if you don’t feel good in the first place. Make sure you find some time everyday to decompress and relax. Find time to eat healthy and engage in some form of physical activity. By taking care of your physical and mental health during this pandemic, you will ultimately be able to take care of your kids as well.