Uncertainty, anxiousness, fear, and stress are prevailing everywhere during the time of the pandemic. People have been staying in their homes to avoid the spread of coronavirus during the whole past year. Life is tough and even tougher for the parents who have to cope with the innocent, curious questions, and needs of their kids. Kids themselves are troubled with the total wrecked routines they are experiencing while homeschooling and studying online. Following strategies and tips are best for parents supporting kids during Covid-19, to get their kids on track and not get fearful and stressed over the current situations.
10 Best Coping Tips for Parents Supporting Kids During Covid-19 Outbreak
1. Be Creative About New Tasks
Incorporate and assimilate new creative activities into your routine in order to make good use of the time available. Activities like doing a puzzle or having a collective family game time like carom or ludo in the night can be beneficial for good bonding. Build-in those activities that your kids love the most and will help your kids get some physical exercise aside from having fun as well, like playing badminton in your backyard or soccer. The major concern for the parents supporting kids during covid-19 is to keep them diverted with a balanced routine and not get entangled in just studies or only playing. These tasks most commonly include crafts and musical activities, cooking, or imaginary games.
2. Keep Daily Study Routines in Place
As much as new extracurricular activities are important, a proper study routine also matters. With the lockdown situation, everyone is contained within their homes. While sleeping in 5 minutes more, we spend almost an hour more in our beds. The daily routines are a mess. Kids are more relaxed while following a pattern through the day. Keep regularity in your routines and organize and strictly manage the study patterns of your kids. Don’t let them slack off on their habits. Keep a check of their time and manage their online classes and projects, if they have any. This habit will keep them alert and mentally active.
3. Be Understanding of Your Child’s Concerns
Children’s concerns during the pandemic are mostly about when this whole locked-in situation will be terminated or when they will get to meet their buddies? Calmly speak up about it and explain why they cannot sleepover with their friends right now. Understand that children are boundless social butterflies and want to be set free. But at times like these, your kids might feel fearful and stress out. They might also be worried about their grandparents, who are distant from them. Connect with them virtually through video chats to ease their anxiety.
4. Monitor the Type of News They Hear
At the time of self-isolation and social distancing during the pandemic, everyone, including kids, has been relying on social media and the internet. Staying alert and informed is good, but both you and your kids must limit news consumption. Social media possess significant potential to enhance your fears and anxiety. And your kids might also get affected equally, or probably more. Take a hiatus from social media and unfollow all the groups that share disturbing and panicking news about coronavirus outbreak. This doesn’t mean that it is taboo to talk about the topic. Talk to your child, but keep it limited, because overflooding of information can cause their imaginations to run wild. Try to answer a few of the authentic, informative questions only to keep them relaxed.
5. Establish Healthy New Plans
Children face more trouble with their routines and bedtime during stressful periods of time. Try to establish normal nighttime practices for younger children, such as a bedtime story after cleaning up. Make it a habit to kiss them goodnight to make them feel extra love. Although the sleep-wake cycle is altering with staying in a situation when children don’t have to go to schools, try to keep a schedule even then. Be consistent with the usual routines so that your kids do not slack off and get tired as well. Keep healthy eating habits and avoid take-outs all the time. Do have something special planned for some days for a change.
6. Manage Your Own Anxiety
It is totally understandable that the parents as caregivers become overwhelmed by the situation right now. Dual career families have to face tougher conditions when both parents have to work from home and manage their kids as well. It would be best if you also took care of yourself. Eat healthily, exercise frequently, and get enough sleep. Explore methods to decompress and take some break. For the parents supporting kids during covid-19, being comfortable and at ease is very important. And for that purpose, parents should avoid talking about their concerns within the range of earshot of their children because that can get them to the worst-case scenarios.
7. Set Goals—And Celebrate Their Accomplishments
Give rewards & use privileges to reinforce the betterment in your kid’s behaviors. Since much is stripping from our everyday lives, small rewards will keep the motivation and enthusiasm alive in your kids. Set the daily goals for proper direction, like finishing the school assignments on time or doing the chores, etc., for the appropriate mindset. Appreciate and celebrate their achievements. Watching the favorite show or playing games to help them get over the unpleasant science assignments is a great reward to them. You can also use this time for a family reunion. Because family love will help get over the stress and bring pleasant memories as well.
8. Arrange Virtual Playdates
Keep in mind that your kids were very fond of playing with their friends and were happy to meet their grandparents or relatives. Try to frequently set up virtual playdates and video conference calls with their friends and close relatives as an alternative to regular in-person meetings. As communication can help them relax, regulate their mood, and can mitigate some of their stress as well. So, to ensure that they can have a change of environment every once in a while, and get their minds off of the concerns they have for now. You can also arrange some safe distance personal meetings for your teens with their peers so that they can have a chance to talk in-person. It will help them feel closer and less stressed.
9. Redirect Your Child’s Behavior
All children tend to misbehave sometimes. There may be many reasons for a child to misbehave, but the most obvious one is that they want attention or are getting bored. It is completely normal because when children are tired or afraid, they are more likely to show bad behaviors. Parents supporting kids during covid-19 crises don’t want to give any rebukes and take care of their child, but correcting the bad behaviors is important for a child to become a gentleman. It is best to catch those bad behaviors early on and to redirect them to some fruitful activity. While addressing the issue is obviously right, sometimes ignoring those not-so-good behaviors can become an effective method of stopping them.
10. Practice What You Preach First
Reinforce the importance of washing hands and maintaining proper hygiene. And parents should not just implicate the compulsions on to their kids but comply with these measures as well. Follow social distancing and other safety protocols. Get yourself and your kids into a routine of washing hands as it can be a life-saving measure. Kids learn by observing their elders and mimic their behaviors, so treat other people with respect and generosity. That way, your kids will learn the importance of being empathetic.
Home Schooling Your Kids While Working from Home?
With everything being at a pause, schools and educational institutes closed, studies have shifted to online platforms. This is true for all departments of life; whether you are a working person, a student, a businessman, or a public speaker, you are ought to shift to the world of the social network. Parenting has never been easy, and with all the financial uncertainties, working from home and homeschooling has made it much tougher. But if you are a parent who is also working from home, then managing to homeschool your kids and work from home can be a real challenge. You have to manage the household, keep your kids in the loop, redirecting their behaviors, and maintain work-life all in one. That’s why managing your stress levels is important, as it greatly affects the atmosphere of your home.
All in all, people everywhere are facing the toughest times during the whole past year, and the UK coronavirus variant doesn’t make this year seem any better. We all have to remain positive and be hopeful of the future. Keep calm and follow the health and safety measures to keep everyone safe and healthy. Being a parent is a blessing and a great responsibility. At tough times, keep thinking about the loving family you have and the happiness you get by looking at them. Trust in God and know that this, too, shall pass.