The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has upended family life around the world. School closures, working remote, physical distancing – it’s a lot to navigate for anyone, but especially for parents. So, here are some tips which we all can do easily for our children which is our lifeline.
Here are some practical ways to cater to the physical and psychological needs of kids during this crisis.
Stick to a Routine
For maintaining normalcy and balance, having a schedule for your child is important. Sticking to wake-up time, mealtime, screen time, and bedtime as well can help children.
Channelize Your Energy
It is required that the parents help their children plan their day to make it a wholesome experience. It is a good idea to include colouring, craft, instrumental music, storytelling, and household chores in the plan. Encouraging individual responsibility – such as watering the plants or making the bed can be habits that can be inculcated in the daily schedule of children in order to channelize their energy.
Restricting Screen Time
The usage of electronic devices such as Phones, tabloids, laptops, Television etc., contribute to the screen time of children. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recently recommended that children younger than two years should not be allowed to have any screen time. Further, for children that are older than five, their screen time must be regulated and customized in consonance with their educational and recreational needs.
Adopt a Healthy and Nutritious Diet
In this global pandemic, the activity of children has severely decreased as compared to the period prior to the pandemic. This makes it imperative to have a healthy and nutritious diet planned for them so that their health is not compromised in this period. Parents should encourage their children to regularly consume water, beverages such as lemonade, coconut water, and clear soups for adequate intake of hydration minerals and vitamins.
As mentioned earlier, the activity of children has decreased in comparison to before. However, this does not mean that the exercise of children should be compromised. Parents should take initiative, even though it may be for a short period of time, to ensure that they engage in physical activity with their children. Such physical activity may include yoga, skipping the rope, taking the stairs a few times, or even dancing to music are options that you could explore to keep your child physically active.
Talk to Your Child
It is essential that parents talk to their children about the pandemic, educate them, listen to their anxieties, and concerns. Further, they should also stay updated on their academics, online classes, and friends. Reach out to your pediatrician for help if the child shows changes in temperament.
Consult Your Doctor
It is essential to opt for a consultation with the doctor in case there are any health concerns. Parents should make an appointment for immunization, or in cases where a clinical check is necessary.
Cultivate New Hobbies
Use this time to encourage new interests. Make the most of your time together by taking a combined online music class, or playing a game of chess, or simply cooking a meal together.
Maintain Personal Hygiene
Teach your child the importance of personal hygiene, by taking daily showers, clipping their nails, or trimming their hair. It’s essential to maintain sleep hygiene as well – sleep and wake up on time; no screen time before bed; quiet, dark room with ambient temperature, to state some.
Lead by Example
Lastly, it is important that the parents should do exactly as they would like their child to do. Leading by example in this pandemic is essential. Washing your hands regularly, following sneezing or coughing etiquette, and maintaining a safe distance from elderly and unwell people can have a huge impact on the learning of children as well.
Madhu Pandit, is a wellness and spiritual life coach & can be reached at http://www.innerwellness.in