These are tough times and the one thought that every parent has, "how do we make sure our kids are emotionally healthy?". It can be by entertaining them or how do we let the paranoia not affect them.
We are on a 21-day lockdown and the coronavirus anxiety is pretty much everywhere. Kids watch us glued to the news, they hear our conversations and most importantly – they hear us say, "OMG. what am I going to do with my child for a month – all by myself?!"
We need to stop being so negative and make the most of what we have. It is the best time to do that.
1) Spend quality time with your child: Don't rush through the activities but spend time with them, enjoy what you are doing with them and do things you couldn't before because you lacked time. Spend at least 20 mins, one-on-one time with each child.
2) Keep it positive: We know it is hard to keep things positive, but it is extremely important to. It is essential to have a calm voice and a tone at such a time.
3) Use positive phrases when you are instructing and praise good behaviour: We often forget to praise good behaviour and only focus on "what they didn't do". Instead of using phrases like "Stop watching TV", pull out a fun activity and say, "let's try something new".
4) Set new routines: Yes, all of us are missing our old routines but it is time set new ones. Make a consistent timetable and try to stick to it. Don't get overwhelmed and don't yell at your kids if they are not, but if you have a timetable – you are trying to plan and prep for a routine. Include them in house chores because this will teach them a lot of other life lessons. Don't be worried about them regressing in school.
5) Catch bad behaviour early: This is not the time to let go of bad behaviour so you could get a little me-time and watch more Netflix. Catch bad behaviour early and through consequences show them responsibility. For example, tell them they are not going to be able to watch TV for the day. Not the week.
6) Talk about Covid-19 openly: Yes, we are trying to keep these negative conversations and anxiety away from them. But by not talking about it we are only making things worse. Talk to them openly, explain to them what the coronavirus is all about (P.S – we have a podcast on it) and tell them what is the best solution. Yes, they will get curious about things but it's ok to not have all the answers.
7) Keep calm and manage stress: We have our moments where we just can't take it anymore and we either yell or cry. Take a step back and breathe. It is also important for kids to be able to express themselves. Talk to a friend and stay connected.
So what are your suggestions during this lockdown for other families?