The Coronavirus outbreak has led to a severe crisis all around the world today. This has made our Government take some important measures like lockdown in the country.
Those of us who are parents or caregivers of young children have the seemingly insurmountable task of figuring out how to take care of them, and ourselves, during this lockdown time.
Here are some tips for parents to consider as we move into this lockdown period:
Indulge in some creativity. Art can be so powerful because it makes you escape for a little bit, it puts you in that mindfulness zone, and time passes so quickly. You can reflect and say, ‘I did that and it looks good’. As adults, if we are doing these ourselves, then we are showing good habits for our children. So take time out of your busy, strange lives at the moment, by doing something like cooking, crochet or colouring in with your children. That’s a fantastic thing to be doing together, and it will go such a long way.
Teach some life skills. The most important thing I’ve learned, which surprised me, is that now is a really good time to teach children things you want to be done. Not all lessons need to be academic – they can be life lessons we want our children to learn as well. Even how they should fold their clothes, mop up or vacuum. Take an hour out and show them how you want them to do it. Usually, life is very fast, and we have no time for this type of teaching. But they are invaluable skills.
Limit screen time. Sit down together and ask your child how long they should have on their devices or social/gaming platforms. Ask them why they feel that time is appropriate? Then negotiate an agreement. Barter chores, creativity or schoolwork in exchange for time online. Most things in life have to be earned through effort or respect. The best way in is to talk and take an interest in what they see online (without judging openly) and share what you see online Ask lots of questions — they open the door of communication and in turn, may widen the door of trust about your child’s online life.
Stay calm with kids. There are going to be interesting, diverse scenarios taking place in homes at the moment. Don’t get frazzled, because teachers don’t lose it – they are quite calm. And just remember that your children are transitioning as well. We need to use lots of negotiation and give and take. Every parent is concerned because we’re taking up a new role here, which we’ve never had to do before. But it’s not going to be permanent. There’s no quick fix, and you’re not a failure, because this is brand new to us all. The positive thing is, we’re going to get to know our children more.