COVID-19 has been extremely hard for children and it is said that the effects of the new wave are comparatively higher on them. After watching news related to the pandemic or overhearing an adult discussing on this subject with family or friends, children might get further terrified on this situation. No doubt, the pandemic has affected their schooling, restricted their exposure to play areas, malls, beaches and so on.
While young children may be afraid about this situation, older kids and teens are more likely to be infuriated by the limitations it brings. Often, when children disobey, it’s a reaction to the extent of stress they are undergoing and might be a way to vent out their frustration. Each child may face the situation differently, hence they presently need to feel valued, cared and supported more than ever.
Incase you are perceiving regression traits in your child, then believe me you are not alone. Giving maximum priority to children and addressing their worries is a must.
Here are some tips to deal with Covid-19 challenges together:
- Managing Yourself:
Firstly, begin by dealing your own anxiety levels. You could do this by exercising regularly, maintaining lifestyle by eating healthy, keeping some time for fun in a day and implementing a regular relaxation practice. The more calm and relaxed you feel, you will be in a better state to handle your child’s stressful mind.
2. Connect & Converse:
It’s good to have a calm and practical discussion with your children on how the country is facing the next Covid-19 wave challenge. But, ensure them that it’s absolutely fine to feel a bit stressed and anxious while facing these challenging times and it should not affect them considerably. Keep conversations light and happy, you can talk to them about their favorite sports, celebrities and friends.
3. Shower Additional Love and Warmth:
Guide children to stay hopeful and keep appreciating their work, natural curiosity, inspiration and resilience. Try to learn and grow together. After all, the biggest thing that a parent can provide to a child is- immense love and care.
4. Staying Fit together:
Do some mindful exercises, yoga and meditation together. You can even do gardening or cook your favorite meals . This will help to remain stress free as well as bloom your parent-child bonding better.
5. Empathize With Them:
Do empathize with their frustrations and the things they have been forced to give up during this pandemic. Understand their feelings and listen to what they have to say.
6. Be Grateful:
Before going to bed, ask them to name one thing that went well or a happy moment they experienced that day. This will encourage you to think of ideas for making the next day joyful!
7. Organize Virtual Playdates:
Help your children stay connected! You can arrange social distancing activities for children through Virtual Playdates. This will let kids meet their friends online, interact, celebrate birthdays, play and learn together.
8. Read Books On Mindfulness:
It’s recommended that kids practice Mindfulness as it would help them to improve their focus, build positive outlook towards life and also manage stress and emotions in a better way. If this skill is achieved, it will help children to develop a sense of appreciation, gratitude and contentment in life.
Here’s list of some Mindfulness Book for kids:
a) Master of Mindfulness Book- How to be your own Superhero in Times of Stress
Book available here- https://amzn.to/3sNbdWg
Reading age: 5-12 years
Written by Laurie Grossman, cofounder of Mindful Schools, and Mr. Musumeci’s fifth grade class at Reach Academy in Oakland, CA, Master of Mindfulness presents mindful activities proven to make it easier to pay attention, accept yourself and others, manage your anger, and even get to sleep at night. The book features cool, mixed media illustrations with real kids’ photos and stories about how mindfulness can help in different stressful situations. It even covers some of the brain science behind why mindfulness helps people to feel better, stay in the present moment, be kind, and make good decisions.
b) I am Peace
Book available here-https://amzn.to/32G7Ndb
Reading age: 4-8 years
Perfect for the classroom or for bedtime, Susan verde’s gentle, concrete narration and Peter H. Reynolds’s expressive watercolour illustrations bring the tenets of mindfulness to a Kid-friendly level. It covers the importance of mindfulness and a guided meditation for children, I am peace will help readers of all ages feel grounded and restored.
c) Breathe Like a Bear
Book available here-https://amzn.to/3xgr7f7
Reading age: 4-10 years
This book is a beautifully illustrated collection of mindfulness exercises designed to teach kids techniques for managing their bodies, breath and emotions. Best of all, these 30 simple, short breathing practices and movements can be performed anytime, anywhere: in the car to the grocery store, during heavy homework nights at home, or even at a child’s desk at school.
d) Listening to my body
Book available here-https://amzn.to/3awizqu
Reading age: 4 – 10 years
This engaging and interactive book guides children through the practice of naming their feelings and the physical sensations that accompany them. From wiggly and squirmy to rested and still, Listening to My Body helps children develop a sensations vocabulary so that they can express what they are experiencing.
e) I can do hard things: Mindful affirmations for kids
Book available here- https://amzn.to/2QL4RZZ
Reading age: 5-10 years
Mindful affirmations can help children tune out the streams of messages they get about how they should be in the world so they can listen to their own inner voice. Children can learn to tap into their inner strength and find the encouragement they need. It’s a wonderful addition to your home or school library.
9. Be Creative:
Give children creative assignments to learn the correct ways to handle this situation. For instance, ask them to draw/ portray a picture of children wearing mask while stepping outside or children staying home, playing and reading or washing hands thoroughly for 20 seconds. Such creative consequence activities will help to engage with your child and also teach them good behaviors.
10. Reward them:
If your child does well in their school assignments, makes his/her own bed, keeps their room tidy, or gets along with their siblings well then you can reward them weekly. This will let kids notice that their parents are recognizing their positive behavior and help them feel motivated, relaxed and happy!
Think Optimistic, Be Calm and Stay Happy. Avoid losing your temper often as this might lead to spanking your child or yelling at them. This will only impact the relationship with your child. Try to ignore their bad behaviors, just don’t react (it’s difficult but stay cool:) and when they are in a mood to talk do explain them in a positive way. Just reassure your children that you are there for them and that your family will get through this tough situation together