As the world progresses towards the probability of lockdown extensions and faces anxiety of whether a vaccine will be available soon, parents with kids at home are finding it particularly difficult to manage.
Kids pick up on small behavioural changes much faster than we can think of, especially if they are negative changes. Anger, anxiety, the stress in parents can cause children to become more irritated. At this time, children may especially find it difficult to cope with stress and the insecurity they are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since they are not going to schools or interacting with their peer groups directly, it might spike up their anxiety levels. Parents need to ease their stress by keeping the environment at home a calm and supportive one. It will help them cope with this situation in a better manner. It is important to maintain all channels of communication with them. Still, at the same time, rather than giving them the scary information, one can bring their attention to the positive outcomes of the lockdown.
Parents are advised to sensitize their children towards the front liners and make them more caring towards the unprivileged people. Ensure there are routines and rules in place to maintain calm. Kids Helpline numbers have seen a sharp rise in calls from anxious kids all across the globe. Specialists are asking parents to keep talking to their children constantly sharing information and keeping them updated on surrounding developments.
Parents need to pick the correct time and place to communicate with their kids. Usually, anxiety levels are higher during the night. One can talk to their child while doing small house chores together. Ensuring that your kids learn more positive things during this time of stress is important. It could be as simple as how to boost one’s immune system, or how to extend a helping hand to someone who is in need. Parents can additionally do some fun activities with their kids to spend good quality time.
Childhood education specialist from Australian Catholic University, Chrissy Monteleone says that setting routines and goals for your child is of paramount importance at this time. Developing similar routines as they have in schools with lunch breaks and snacks to create an environment of familiarity is important.
SOME IMPORTANT TIPS FOR PARENTS
For parents who have teens at home, it’s a good idea to support them as friends, rather than imposing extremely strict rules suddenly, your goal is to connect with them when they have already started distancing themselves.
- Parents of younger kids, try to restrict screen time and video games.
- Keep some semblance of daily routines as they were before the lockdown.
- Lead by example; set routines for yourself and follow them strictly.
- Try to identify the interests of your child and build engaging activities on them.
- Keep a readily available stock of essentials like first aid kit, medicine, colour pencils, etc.
- You can create designated spaces for your child so that they understand the concept of personal space.