It is hard to escape news on the coronavirus, it has become a part of our conversation. People are getting sick. We have gone into self-quarantine, canceled events, canceled travel, work from home, look suspiciously at anyone who sneezes or coughs. The fear and anxiety levels are high. And our children are a part of this coronavirus environment. They are neither allowed to go out and play nor they are allowed to meet their friends. Their ‘new normal’ has been harsh on them since its very first day. Suddenly they stopped going to their school, they stopped visiting their extra curricular activities’ classes, they stopped meeting their friends and almost all the basic activities of their life came to a standstill.
The new online classes system has increased their screen sharing time and has drastically impacted their outdoor activities. Explaining the novel coronavirus to children can be a challenge. Many parents are wondering how to bring up the epidemic in a way that will be reassuring and not make kids more worried than they already may be. This is the time of high anxiety for a lot of people. Some of the kids are actually talking about the coronavirus in ways where they are pretty anxious about it.
Here’s some parenting tips to follow amidst the pandemic. Conscious parenting has become the need of the hour. In fact a lot of parents have already started searching for good parenting articles. Knowing what is good parenting and the importance of parenting is extremely important amidst the pandemic. Emotionally abusive parents shall take extra care of their behavior and words because children are already in an anxious state. You may follow any of the parenting styles till you are into mindful parenting creating a happy ambiance for your kids.
What can parents tell children who are anxious about the coronavirus?
It is important to be reassuring with kids. Kids feel empowered when they know what they can do to keep themselves safe. Children have a lot of questions in their mind – What is coronavirus? How does it spread? How severe is the disease (covid19)? Do we really get less sick than adults? Why did they close the schools? Why can’t we even go to the playground? Children have to know specific fact-based information.
There are a lot of myths kind of going around and information that can be really scary for kids, and it’s best to not completely keep them in the dark. But give them some information so they understand like the true honest effort that their parent is giving to let them know about it. Make them understand that people have viruses all the time and that the difference with this virus is that we don’t want so many people to get it at once, so that the hospitals and the doctors are just too busy. So we’re all really working hard to stay at home from school and home from work to give them the space they need to work on this virus. And for a lot of kids that’s kind of enough information obviously, it depends on their cognitive and language level. But it’s not something we need to be talking about all day.
“What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.”Glenn Close
Provide some information try to get in there and see if there’s any myths the kids are walking around with, and then move on to something more fun and relaxing like movie or a family game. Put some routine in place at home like similar wake up times, knowing when meals are coming. You know knowing if school work is expected at a certain time and when the fun time is gonna come. It might be a time if the child is really struggling to do the traditional way of learning. Maybe it’s a time to focus on experiential learning that’s where we think of teaching them hands-on things like how to measure the ingredients for you know what they’re making, or going outside for a walk and trying to identify trees or flowers that we know of.
As schools close to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many students are taking virtual classes—in some cases, for the very first time. Even many of them may be struggling to transfer their learning from an in-person class to an online class so abruptly. It is a mess for many, everyone is scrambling trying to give out as much work as possible, but most of the kids don’t have the habit of online classes or the proper devices to. Even educators have concerns surrounding internet access and any weaknesses that the system may have compared to face-to-face learning. Making matters worse, no one knows for sure when schools will be able to reopen as the coronavirus pandemic shows no sign of abating any time soon.
In this gloomy environment do everything possible to motivate your children so that their anxiety doesn’t overpower their mental peace. School being closed, working from home, physical distancing it has become a little difficult for parents to navigate. Taking care of mental health is a key part of living a healthy life for the whole family! Don’t pressure your kids to do “better” in school and get good grades. Ask them to indulge themselves in exercises, learning new things and meditation. During lockdown period help them develop habits and make them self dependent. You can use this time to teach several things to your children. Not just studying, it can also be used to help your child explore their hobbies. You simply get more to spend with your kids and help them learn new things. It will also keep your kids engaged.
“Sometimes you can find peace of mind by transferring yourself to different situations. They’re just reminders to stay … calm.”—Yves Behar