“We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that they are someone today.” — Stacia Tauscher
For the past 10 months or so, we’ve been reading extensively about the impact COVID-19 has had on the grown-ups. In the resulting chaos, we almost forgot that the pandemic hasn’t been easy on the kids. They have been the silent victims so far.
To mention the very least, the current situation has taken away their natural instincts of being carefree and impulsive. By natural design, humans are social beings and this trait is best embodied by our children: we all need company to stay afloat. Similarly, kids love the company of fellow kids. After all, isn’t childhood all about making friends and having fun?
It’s no surprise why taking away their biggest pleasure can turn a lot of them sullen and, to some extent, hostile. Being mindful about their actions in the ongoing paranoia of contracting a dangerous virus, we hear more and more kids are showing anxiety. Moreover, being cooped up inside the four walls can leave them vulnerable physically as well as mentally.
Although there are several ways for parents to help bridge the gap, I can impart 5 tips from my experience that could help children combat these issues –
Whenever possible, try to take your child/ren to the outskirts. Children connect deeply with nature. They learn and absorb best in an outdoor natural surrounding. The lockdown has made quite a lot of youngsters lethargic and clumsy. While it is extremely important to maintain social distancing and other precautionary measures, soaking in some sun and breathing in some fresh air can do wonders to your little ones as well as to your parenthood.
Learn to relax
Yoga is an age-old technique to combat various physical and mental issues. Right from building immunity, improving flexibility, promoting mental health and reducing stress, Yoga has been acknowledged as the most powerful weapon in today’s testing times. It’s important to offer Yoga to kids in a manner that they can use its techniques in real life, as it can help them connect better to themselves and build focus.
Choose your worry hour
Emotions are running high in every family and children tend to replicate the adults in their vicinity. As a result, they face meltdowns and start throwing tantrums at the drop of a hat. Unable to express their feelings and emotions, they assume crankiness. As a family, it’s the parents’ responsibility to create an ecosystem where everybody is able to express themselves freely. One way to do this is to choose a time to talk about all your worries. Try to fix this during daytime and not closer to your kid’s snooze time. That way, you will help create an environment for your child/ren to vent and ultimately rest their floating doubts.
Pick an extracurricular pursuit
Nothing de-stresses a child like an extracurricular activity. It promotes better health and reduces mental health risks. Pre-teens (9-12 years) and, especially teens, are facing more complicated issues than the younger kids. The constant negativity in the news doesn’t bode well for them and since they are in the developmental age, it’s essential to safeguard them. One positive outcome of this pandemic has been the rise of instances where kids adopted new extracurricular pursuits — what they didn’t show an interest in earlier — as it helps them stay calm and positive.
While it’s very difficult to take away the digital platform from kids today, as a parent we can choose to make a child’s screen-time more scientific and productive. Best to decide on the number of hours you want your child/ren to be in front of the screen in a day and then prioritise options accordingly. Online learning is an incredible tool when you can have your child learn from the best educators in the world. Choose right and learn well.
Lastly, please remember that your child/ren’s nurture is a factor of your active involvement.
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