The ongoing lockdown to contain covid-19 pandemic has altered everybody’s lifestyle. This is a definite life changing experience. Besides pushing us to adopt a different way of living and working, the spread of the virus and the constant buzz around it is increasingly seen as a catalyst that could disturb mental health of our children.
How can we help them during these crazy times? We need to maintain structure and routine to help tide over anxiety and ways to deal with a possible rebound-madness post the lockdown. Here are my top 3 survival tips.
Don’t worry about your children falling behind
We’ve really got to be kind to each other: we are in a huge transition and it’s extraordinarily difficult. I can sense the anxiety parents might have about children falling behind, but just make sure they do a little bit, often, so that they are still engaged in the daily routine of learning. And be kind to yourself: even if your child does not complete a worksheet, and you’ve had a really bad day with them, that’s OK. It’s not the end of the world.
The one really positive thing that will come out of this is, I’m hoping our young people can be more independent in choosing when and what to learn. If we create children that love learning, they will automatically be researching and trying to find new things to occupy their time with and to be inspired by. Age and grades are a huge factor here. The younger they are, the more playtime you can fit in. For a teen, consistency is key but don’t neglect break time.
Carve out family time
In the evening, we have family time. So from 7.00 p.m. onwards, everyone’s devices go away, and we have a very fiery game of UNO or watch something appropriate on Netflix. Every household with children can now guarantee there’s going to be family time. We used to reserve games and movies for weekends but now we go with the flow. Everyday is family day. We’ve also discovered great family game apps like Pictionary and Cherades. You will soon discover which is your most favourite.
Many sporting activities have been cancelled for this season. Yet exercise is critical for young people’s physical and mental health.
Think creatively about the activities children and teenagers can do when confined to the home. Opportunities for exercise might include a mini bootcamp in the backyard, an obstacle course through the house, physically active video games (dance, fitness, boxing), or kid-friendly dance and kids yoga classes on YouTube. I mostly do tik tok dance routines with my teen daughter to help her keep fit. She doesn’t even view it as excercise because she loves it. My son is GI Joe, so we do push ups and skipping.
Remember, none of us have ever been through this. There’s no proven formulation on how to handle a pandemic of such magnitude. All we can do is be optimistic and get on survival mode.