Do you have youngsters around you during social distancing? How do they feel about coronavirus (COVID-19)? We want to share some handy measures with our readers for supporting kids during coronavirus; steps to keep your child happy, healthy and focused through the pandemic.
With all the information and daily statistics update, anxiety, stress and fear became part of everyday life for many people across Canada and the world. Children might look happy, naughty, but in reality, they may feel the stress stronger than adults. Schools are closed, all extracurricular activities are cancelled, children don’t interact closely with their friends. All of these can be challenging to explain to your kids and keep them motivated. However, there are several practical actions you can take for supporting kids during coronavirus:
Ensure open communication at all times
Kids need to feel protected and understood; make sure you are a proactive communicator by opening up topics or the possible areas of concern. Create an environment where they can ask any kind of question-related to COVID-19, rules established or about the protection against the virus. Kidshelpphone informs, supports parents and children through the website and call lines. Pay attention to the following:
- Try to customize your answers according to their age and knowledge. Use games and role-plays to teach them how to protect themselves, how to recognize the symptoms. Make sure they know that most symptoms can be treated, so they feel safe.
- Another essential point of supporting kids during coronavirus is that parents should find more channels of communication as they stay home with their children, and young tend to get bored from one type of activity.
- Check the information kids get from online or TV sources, talk about it, explain and cross-check the facts. Help yourself and your child to stay calm, balanced; not affected by the information load. If needed, limit the consumption of news.
- Do not ignore silence and distance in child behaviour.
Create schedules and stick to the routines
“Children need structure.”- says Unicef. Even when they stay home, they need to wake up, go to bed, eat, play and study following the schedule. Consistency helps to release the stress and avoid the uncertainty that is unclear to children.
- For the kids, make sure the routine involves plays, learning and communication time with friends if it is possible online.
- Try to involve elder children in the process; they can develop their schedules, express their needs and interests the routine. That way, they will be more involved and motivated to follow it.
- Helping around the home, exercising together are some important parts of the schedule that not only occupy children but also improves their health, mental state and teaches responsibility.
- Try to control screen time as it will inevitably increase when everybody stays home.
- Do not try to fill all day or overschedule it. Children still need to feel home and relaxed. They need to think that everything is ok, and the routine as usual.
Be kind to yourself, monitor your stress level first
Most of the parents are trying to be the best, to fulfill all the needs of their children, to make sure that their kids still get all the routine they had before. However, in many cases, the best answer is the most straightforward one. Listen to your feelings and go with it if your child asks for a play. Do not stress about schedules, but have them on hand. Make plans, but be ready to change them. Remember, the ultimate goal is to go through these times in a healthy, happy manner.
Supporting kids during coronavirus can be challenging; you spend more time with them, mostly in a closed space with limited tools. Stay positive; it is temporary. When you tell it your child, first, motivate yourself, let go of all the information you probably have in your mind and enjoy the moment.
Our blog posts for supporting your kids during coronavirus give information about safety measures for swimmers. You can also learn how to exercise at home to stay fit and in shape together with your child.