Keeping Your Kids Engaged During the LockdownWebmaster
We must admit that life is still far from normal. The struggles we faced last year are creeping back to haunt us as we are forced to work from home yet again. With the ups and downs that come with the pandemic, many parents are struggling at home with teenagers, toddlers, babies, and their jobs. Keeping up with the kids and chores at home is already a daily challenge, so doing it during a lockdown can be stressful to both parents and kids. But don’t be disheartened. These four parenting tips may help you cope better at home.
Talk about Covid-19.
Make your children aware of the pandemic and current safety precautions, like the importance of practicing the 3Ws (Wear, Wash, Warn), and avoiding the 3Cs (Crowded Places, Confined Places, Close Conversations). Remind them constantly about hygiene and handwashing. Also, take the opportunity to discuss “what if” situations, such as quarantine or hospitalisation. Be there when they need support, care or help. You have to be honest and supportive of their concerns and questions about the pandemic.
Spend quality time with each child.
Set aside time to spend with the kids, either individually or all at once. The time you allocate is up to you; it can be 20 minutes a day, or longer. Spending quality time with your children is important to show that you care about them. It is also a way to maintain a positive parent-child relationship and environment while going through a lockdown. Put away your phone/work and do simple activities together, such as reading, completing simply chores, making art, telling stories, or just talking about something they like. Give them your undivided attention and have fun!
Limit screen time.
There’s growing evidence pointing to the negative effects of excessive screen time, especially on children. Staring at screens can affect mental and emotional well-being, and may be a risk factor for obesity. Hence, parents should model healthy electronic use in front of the kids, set a time to unplug, keep bedrooms screen-free, and encourage fun and educational activities that do not require electronics. You can also install apps to check your children’s screen usages.
Yes, limiting the amount of time children spend in front of the screens is a good idea, but it’s okay to ease up on the rule occasionally. As parenting coach and author Judy Reith said, “We are in unprecedented times, so it may be wise to relax the rules on screen time and social networking. Keeping in touch is vital, for all of us, with friends and family”.
Sing your children’ praises.
Good words for good deeds. Encouragement leads to optimism and optimism creates high self-esteem in children. Compliment your children for a job well done, such as when they help you with chores, complete their school work or other interactive activities that you do together. It’s important to keep a happy home for children as many find it stressful to be stuck at home all the time and deprived of social life and playtime. Give your children extra hugs and kisses too!
To sum it all, parents should be proud of themselves as we all know you are trying your absolute best to maintain a happy, safe and healthy home for your kids. Above all, do what you know is best for your kids according to your own unique situation. You are already amazing the way you are, parents!
By Izyan Diyana Merzuki