Tips for parenting in the time of quarantine – Times of India

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With the lockdown extending for two more weeks, there is no denying that we are living in difficult and unusual circumstances. As the countries across the globe continue to take stringent measures (including a complete lockdown) in a desperate attempt to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, it has certainly changed the face of normalcy.

Schools have been shut worldwide and organizations have authorized remote working to their employees, which has collectively led to a shocking transition in our daily lives. It can be especially harder for the younger minds who have to stay cooped up all day long, instead of playing on the streets with their friends and sharing lunch during recess.

While working from home may have sounded like a gift, in the beginning, we all know how it has turned out. Most working parents are trying really hard to maintain a work-life balance and ensuring that their children are not glued to the gadgets. There is no denying that the responsibility of ensuring our kids sail through this quarantine time smoothly has brought its own complexities.

As parents, it is the time to step up our game and keep our little ones informed about what is happening around them to satiate their curiosity. Yes, an important part of keeping them safe and sound is to keep them aware. Here is what parents can do:

1.Provide them answers to what is happening around them and why is it happening

2.Work together to keep them engaged in a productive manner

3.You can engage them in doing household chores as well

4.Brainstorm to find new ways to battle boredom. One way encourage the child to follow his/her passion in the free time

5. Discuss with your child and set a reasonable limit on screen time and gadgets

How should parents communicate with kids

The first and the most important step is to validate what your child is feeling by giving them a non-judgmental platform to share their thoughts and feelings where your child will feel heard and understood.

Secondly, engage and spend more time with your family and find out ways to actively connect to them. This will help the kids to develop a close-knit bond with their extended family as well. For instance, children who are between the age of five to eight years share a closer bond with their grandparents, so you can try to schedule video calls with them regularly.

Children between the age of nine to twelve years can be taught mindful ways to reconnect with their friends and family members through Facetime dates, phone calls, or drawing something and sharing it with their friends via messaging platforms.

It is very important to understand that there will be phases when your children will tremendously miss their friends, teachers, and even the fun that they used to have in their schools. Hence, as a parent, you will have to think of creative ways to help them feel connected to their loved ones and also acknowledge the fact that not being able to see friends and family members can be incredibly difficult.

Learning while homeschooling:

One of the biggest challenges in current times is managing to effectively educate our children at home. Here are some tips that can help parents:

Set up a schedule: Following a proper routine is healthy and has become even more important during this time. As parents, fix a healthy yet balanced routine for your children just like the school time table. Remember, that it is okay to take a break from the schedule and be a little flexible with the same.

To set up a routine, you can start the day with a fun and easy-to-do exercise session and have a healthy and delicious breakfast afterward. Pick a topic of child’s interest to discuss over the dining table as it will help them get in the right frame of mind. This can be followed by studying online with teachers and friends. Make sure to allot recess and breaks regularly and schedule some time for fun-filled activities such as board games or dumb charades with the whole family as well.

Parents, remember to not get too caught up with the idea of replicating school at home. Take it one day at a time and gently nudge your children to explore their passions during the lockdown.

Written by: Mansi Sharma ,Clinical & Rehabilitation Psychologist
Counseling Psychologist

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