LOCKDOWN MENTAL HEALTH: TIPS FOR HELPING YOUR CHILD
As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, self-isolation or quarantine is one of the key tactics in reducing the infection rates. This lock down period has made families stay within their homes and not having physical contact with those outside. With the school and day-care getting closed, workplaces shutting and most of them working from home, families are experiencing longer days at home.
Although it may be normal that screen time increases during these exceptional circumstances, it is important to consider reducing the amount of screen time specifically focused on COVID-19. Too much information or constantly following updates about the status of COVID-19 can increase anxiety.Be aware that information intended for adults can cause anxiety or confusion, especially in young children.
Here are few tips on how to help children get through this situation
Reassure children that this is a temporary phase and that it is a beautiful way to spend quality time with their parents and family members, who are otherwise busy with office or work. Listen to their concerns and try answering their queries. Give them the attention that they need.
Manage your child’s anxiety. It is normal for the child to become anxious at this time. Look out for emotional cues in your child and talk to them regarding the same. Make them understand that the things will be better if we take proper care. Remember this is a new situation for your children and do not get irritated with them.
Set up a robust routine and schedule for children at home for online schoolwork, playtime, self-studies or recreational activities such as board games, music, screen time etc.
Keep them in contact with their friends. Physical distancing from friends could be cause of distress for children. Help them to be connected to their friends, cousins and loved ones by calling them up or through video calls.
Do not stay on screens all the time. It can be tempting for children to just sit in front of the tv or gadgets. Families should try to enjoy having more spare time than usual, especially what can be very rare for kids during normal days. Parents can be prepared with games, craft, schoolwork and books.
Keeping physically active is critical to boost the mood of the children. Engage them in indoor activities as they might get easily bored during the lockdown. Involve them in stretching exercises, yoga and dancing. Ask them to help you in simple household activities.
Explain to them that social distancing is the best way to curb the virus from spreading and affecting people that they love. Above all, Try to be as honest as you can about the current situation and the virus as children thrive on honesty. Thus, creating experiences with mindfulness will ensure children’s emotional and psychological well-being are safeguarded at all times.