How To Support Your Kids’ Wellbeing During The Pandemic?

The above points are for those times when you feel lost, and you need to be reminded of what you already know. Take a deep breath and remember that bad times are not permanent. So, this too shall pass.

"Don't be surprised if this phase that these kids are going through has long-term hazards on their emotional wellbeing," claimed my husband one morning.

That made me wonder – we, as parents, are obviously trying to do our best in keeping the kids engaged through productive activities, teaching them, and playing with them. But, what about their mental health?

COVID-19 isn’t only impacting our kids physically but also their mental wellbeing. Childhood is meant to be spent with friends, playing around in the parks, chatting with friends, learning new things at school, participating in various extra-curricular activities, and having a routine. But, what are our kids doing since March 2020? Everything is online- they live a virtual life!

What can you do to help?

  • Try to determine if your child is stressed about falling sick from COVID-19 or about their loved ones contacting it. Try to catch the clues – while some kids might become hyperactive; others might start drawing into a cocoon. You, as a parent, will be the best to decipher the difference in their behaviour. Do not ignore. If required, don't hesitate to take professional health. You can also call up CHILDLINE 1098, India’s exclusive emergency helpline for children. Early childhood trauma can have an ever-lasting impact – "A stitch in time can save nine." So, speak out to the child, and encourage them to express themselves as much as possible. 

  • Teach your child the preventive methods by being a role model. Help them understand that we can fight the scenario if we are careful and take measures like washing hands regularly, not touching our faces, and wearing masks whenever we move out of the house.

  • Encourage kids to have a healthy diet – it will not only help their immunity but will also help them to stay calm. Please urge them to drink water, sufficient quantities of fruits and vegetables. Keep them away from carbonated drinks and chocolates. 

  • Speak to his/her doctor and schedule virtual health checkups. COVID-19 is taking up so much of our thoughts that we are ignoring other diseases. A regular virtual checkup will keep your child's health on track.

  • Accepting facts will help us deal with it better. And, in today's scenario, staying away from the screen is difficult. Use it to connect with your friends and family. Let the child not feel left out. Connect him with his friends through video calls and they’ll find out their mode of entertainment. For instance, my child plays peek-a-boo with his friends on WhatsApp call! Can you imagine? 

  • Praise them – accept it or not, the kids deserve a shout-out. If our lives have changed, theirs have changed more drastically. Furthermore, the primary school goers can’t even express themselves. Like us, when they speak to their friends, they don't complain about life being difficult. But that doesn't mean they don't feel it. Please help them to speak out about their fear, anxiety, and their thoughts.

  • Patience – Yes! We all know it, but sometimes, we need to be reminded. Kids, in general, shouldn’t be shouted at. But, with all the stress and workload, at times, we lose sanity – it’s obvious. When you face an agitating scenario, remove yourself from that place, and try to calm down before walking back to them. 

  • Keep your kids away from COVID news. It also includes discussing it with your family members. We know the situation is vital – but kids need not know the graveness of the scenario! 

  • Keep aside a family fun-time – a fixed time slot when you and your child might do nothing, or have some fun with paints, or cook something different, or watch his/her favourite movie. Fun-time should be spontaneous and led by your child. With work, home, and school, finding out time every day is challenging. So, make sure to do it at least once a week. For instance, recently, we have a weekend theatre at our home – my son, and I watch Marvel's movie with popcorns, juice, chicken nuggets, or fish fries every Saturday. Prior to this, it was puppet shows.

  • Try to stick to a routine. Under the current scenario, 8-9 hours of sleep at night is a must for kids, for their physical and mental wellbeing. And it will also help them to fall into a schedule when school reopens.

Lastly, take care of yourself. Parents, you are doing a great job. The above points are for those times when you feel lost, and you need to be reminded of what you already know. Take a deep breath and remember that bad times are not permanent. So, this too shall pass.

Image source: Stock 

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