The current pandemic of COVID-19 has changed our lives for good. It has affected everyone, especially kids who can’t go to school or anywhere else and are holed up in the house for a long time.
The contagiousness of the virus has also created fear, and the continuous spread has brought uncertainty regarding the future. In these circumstances, there is a need to keep your children healthy and calm. Now, I know that parenting during a pandemic is tough, but it is more crucial now than ever before. Below, I’ve listed a number of measures that can act as your pandemic parents guide. Use these in building a positive relationship with children in these troubling times.
Structure of the day.
The extended downtime during the pandemic has made routines an important part of life. Creating routines can help you structure your children’s day and provide them with some certainty in these uncertain times. Remember to set up methods that cater to all of your children’s individual needs and do not become a hassle for them.
You can create a daily schedule that includes some homework and provides enough stimulus to your kids to keep them motivated throughout the day. Some general things you can add are lunchtime, exercise, chores, sleeping schedules, outdoor playtime, schoolwork, and family time.
A routine can help your children be more motivated as opposed to being bogged down by the monotony of the pandemic lockdown. Try and incorporate as many of the activities mentioned above in their schedule and include anything else that may help.
Communicate with your children.
These difficult times have troubled children a great deal. Your kids might not understand what is going on, and they may be having difficulty in coping with the pandemic. It is your job to keep the channel of communication open so that they feel secure, both physically and mentally. Some of the things you should do are:
- Acknowledge their feelings; Let them know that is it okay to feel sad because they can’t go to the mall or because their friends can’t come over. Understand their emotions, and don’t disregard them. Help them deal with their feelings and teach them how to better respond to challenging situations.
- Be honest; The dangers of the pandemic can instil fear in kids and raise questions in their minds. You must answer their questions with complete honesty so that they may understand the severity of the issue at hand. You can tell them that people are sick with the virus, and it is spreading, but they can prevent contracting it by following preventive measures.
- Lead by example; Model strong emotional responses to reassure your kids that things will be alright and help them learn what to do with the ongoing uncertainty. For example, you can talk to them about how you feel and what you are doing to manage those feelings and not get overwhelmed.
- Provide them information; You can also tell them what efforts the government and scientists are putting in to help the sick and develop a vaccine. Reassure them that things will be better soon so that they are at ease.
- Keep them connected with family; Try to keep them connected with their relatives and friends so that they can socialize and have the assurance of their safety. You can use any number of video calling options to have a better meeting experience.
Living under lockdown and working at the same time can become difficult. The work-from-home model might not work if you have kids who have nothing to do except bug you all day. To overcome this, try specifying a particular place for work and restricting kids from entering when you work.
You can also set up a designated homework area. This can help you define separate areas for both yourself and your children so that both of you can complete your work without disturbing each other. This can increase productivity and help you get through work-from-home without having to scream at your children.
Create breaks in-between, however, to create some breathing room for your child and yourself. After a certain time, take some time to play with your kids or watch TV with them to kill the monotony. This can help your kid respect the boundaries and not tease you while you work.
Also, try not to shut them down or punish them when they ask for attention, as this can have adverse effects on them. Create boundaries and teach your children to respect them.
It is important to step outside and soak in the sun and appreciate nature. It doesn’t matter if the parks are closed, you can always go for a run or bike through the streets. This aids your physical and mental health.
The spring and summertime are great to observe the outdoors, and it can be adventurous for the kids to go out as opposed to staying all the time indoors. This can be an exciting opportunity for them to learn more about nature and understand various scientific processes they’ve learned in school.
If your kids can’t go outside due to certain safety issues like medical conditions, then you can always engage them in productive content over YouTube and other platforms.
Focus on spending some time outside with your kids while following all the necessary preventive measures as it can help children enjoy a normal activity under the pandemic conditions.
Under the current circumstances, this can be difficult to practice. However, kids don’t even understand why their whole lives have changed overnight. You have to help them understand the situation and tell them that things will be alright.
Try to keep assuring them that scientists are working to help solve the problem so that they can be hopeful. Try to express positivity through your behaviors. Kids will copy you, and it will help them live through this pandemic.
Parenting during a pandemic is a difficult job. You are going through a lot yourself, and on top of that, you have to take care of your kids as well. However, it doesn’t have to be a burden if you can follow some methods to handle the situation. I hope the points discussed so far can help you in building positive relationships with young children and improve your children’s relationships with their parents. Here’s hoping that you deal with this awful pandemic and come out on the other side healthy and happy.
Erin Keller is the mother of three boys aged 14, 13, 11, and one girl aged 4. She currently resides in Fairfield but was brought up in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she also completed her B.A. in Business Economics in 200three. Erin has been very involved with her kids, trying to balance work and life since 2011. Her experience with her kids provided her exciting content for her blog. The blog is Erin’s passion and an ongoing effort of a mom with four kids.