The World is in fear of COVID-19 and unexpected holidays of children affect daily routine of the whole family. Parents were not prepared to handle this sudden change in their and their child’s life. When children stay at home, parents have to be available for them and this may lead to conflict among child and parent and conflict among parents. Parenting during lockdown is tough, as children can’t be taken to playgrounds, sports complex, library, museum, birthday parties etc, as social distancing has become necessary at this hour.
Ms Jagriti, Psychologist at PALS says about this Covid-19 issue – “Children learn what they observe. Engage them in various activities and make their unexpected holidays into fruitful learning”.
Ms. Deepali Batra, Sr. Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Director PALS further added that parents are in pressure to keep their child busy and not to create chaos in their home. Parents who are working from home have an added pressure to keep their children occupied independently, so that they complete their office work and handle household chores. During this time most of the parents have lots of questions regarding how to structure their child’s day.
Ms. Deepali Batra, Sr. Clinical and Child Psychologist in Delhi suggested that following activities can be done at home to keep your child engaged independently during COVID-19 Lockdown
- Attention enhancement activities e.g. Word Cancellation
- Engage your child in an online course as byjus.com
- Create different colorful worksheets for your child of mazes, crosswords and puzzles etc.
- Take out old photographs of family members and ask your children to talk about them
- Discuss past pleasurable events and open albums in your phone or physical albums. they will enjoy the past birthday parties definitely.
- Play indoor games like board games .
- Do creative writing together with your child . Make it a free blog for them on blogspot.com or wordpress.
- Encourage your child to write letters to close relatives. and make sure they post it later. Elderly people have a good feeling to receive physical letters in this digital age.
- Encourage your child for cutting and pasting activity. All form of craft activity will boost them to create new things. It also helps in Fine Motor Control.
- Children can learn to practice mindfulness. This is particularly important during COVID-19 stress.
- Assign household responsibilities to your child . Playfully provide him roles of Kid-Chef, Kid-Accountant etc. They will love it.
- Encourage creative painting like leaf painting, brush painting, vegetable painting etc
- Play time with pet. This will definitely increase their immunity.
- Grow a Plant. Let them water it and care it every day. Growing plants gives them a sense of nurture. By the end of social distancing , they will have a grown up healthy plant which can be placed in a garden.
- Storytelling to your child . Specially social stories of courage and resilience. Not only they should listen stories, they should be encouraged to create stories and tell to you.
- Watch moral animated movie . Many free video streaming sites can provide you the resource.
- Talk with your child and create a healthy conversation . This will increase the Bonding and will make them feel more connected.
- Play fun games like, hoopla .
- Dance together
- Take them for a walk
- Encourage them to do exercise
- Using screen judiciously
Child Psychologist in Delhi further added that it is understandable that parents and children may feel frustrated with too many things around them to handle. If dealt with patience and understanding this phase can be handled effectively. No one was expecting this but then when something like this comes up, we all need to be together to handle this. Keep telling yourself to keep calm and relaxed and take it easy. Tell yourself that “you can handle this”.