With COVID-19 taking a toll on our lives, and social distancing, isolation, quarantine, vaccine, and other similar words becoming a part of our regular conversation, somewhere our kids are also going through a lot of stress like us, the grown-ups.
Helping Kids Deal With Stress During the Lockdown
Although isolation, physical, and social distancing is the new normal, it has led to immense physical and psychological pressure on the kids. Right from their academic calendar and summer vacations to the way of their lives, everything has turned upside-down. Plus, the introduction of online classes and restricted contact with their buddies and relatives have left them in a tough situation. As per the CDC (Centers For Disease Control and Prevention), small kids and teenagers are more prone to the Corona-induced crisis.
We know that as a parent, understanding what your child is going through emotionally can be quite tricky because most kids either fail or ignore communicating their feelings. However, for every problem, there is a solution. And, when it comes to solving any issue, you need to get to the root of it and understand it in the first place. Here are the signs you need to notice to understand if your child is going to emotional stress –
- If your child’s sleeping pattern seems irregular, if he/she sleeps more or less than usual, it could be a possible sign that he/she is suffering from stress.
- Loss of appetite or increased craving for food is also a sign of depression. So, if your kid is not willing to have food, even his/her favorite one or his/her portion size has increased, he/she is more likely to be stressed.
- Mood swings can also imply that your child is going through some tough deal deep within. If you find him/her showing a random outburst of emotions, it could mean that your little one is worried. It includes anger, sadness, fearfulness, tearfulness, irritability, and aggressiveness, etc.
- Has your child become more conscious of his/her health? Is he/she looking for signs of illness in his/her body? Is he/she asking for frequent assurance about his/her wellbeing? If yes, then your child might be afraid of falling ill due to the pandemic.
- Children, when in stress, prefer to be around people (mainly parents and siblings) with whom they feel safe and secure. So, if your son or daughter is exhibiting increased clinginess to you, he or she could be finding it hard to cope with the scenario of the health crisis.
- Isolation or disengagement from the surrounding is a way many kids react to stress and anxiety. So, it is crucial to monitor these traits and respond accordingly.
- Easy distraction and lack of focus most of the time show that a person is worried about something. It applies to the kids as well. So, if you find that your little one is easily distracted or is unable to focus on any task given to him/her, your darling son or daughter needs help.
If you notice any of the above signs in your child’s behavior, you should know that it is time to talk to him/her and help him/her through the emotional mess.
9 Ways to Help Your Kids Manage Stress During the Lockdown
Here are some of the best ways to help your little ones to manage stress during the lockdown.
#1 Talk to your kids
Many kids find comfort in being quiet and secluded. However, if you feel that their rhythm of conversation with you has dropped, all of a sudden, your child might be stressed and upset. Do not scold them for being that way. Talk to them proactively instead. Try to engage them in doing positive and creative things. Connect your kids to their friends and close relatives over the phone and video calls so that they do not feel isolated.
#2 Make a structured routine
Kids are used to a particular routine owing to their school life. However, during this global pandemic followed by lockdown, this routine is somewhat disrupted. What you should do is schedule a daily routine for your kids. It will allow him/her to be in disciplined practice with less time to sit idle and do nothing. Make a structured routine for studies, games, physical activities, entertainment, meals as well as their sleep time. In this way, your child will feel relaxed and centered.
#3 Feel their anxiousness and help them accordingly
Is your son or daughter feeling anxious about the situation around them? For example, is he/she asking too many questions about COVID-19 or he/she get tense whenever you discuss this health crisis or your switch to the news channel? If so, then do not cover anything under the carpet. It can be overwhelming for them. It is crucial to handle this situation smartly. You can narrate the scenario to your kids with suitable filters so that they do not get depressed and Limit exposure to news and restrict to reliable sources than surfing each channel on television.
#4 Keep a check on social media usage
Social media is ruling the world right now. We seek out various social media platforms for our daily dose of entertainment. Our kids are also not indifferent to it. They are more into it instead. However, getting hooked to social media could be detrimental to both physical and emotional health. Plus, with easy access to information and news, kids can get information about anything and everything happening around, including the hoax and fake ones. So, you should keep a check on their social media usage, not forcefully, but tactfully.
#5 Your kids need you the most
Due to the pandemic, we are all locked inside our homes. It is indeed a tough time for all of us, including our kids. No matter if you are working from home or not, it is highly advisable to spend some time with your kids too. The more attention and care you give to your child, the better they will find to sustain this stressful condition. So, spend quality time with them, play with, help them with their studies and hobbies to make them feel better.
#6 Gear up and spend some time outside
Staying inside the home round the clock is stressful. And, on top of that, if it is some-deadly-disease-induced stay at home drill, then it can be mentally tormenting. However, you can spend some time outside your home with all your social distancing and sanitizing weapons ready. Moreover, you can also go and play with your kids in your backyard, rooftop, or go for small walks in the neighborhood, maintaining social distancing, if going outside is not possible.
#7 Watch your behavior in front of your kids
Understandably, you can also get stressed due to all of these happening around. And, when we adults get tense, we often start using bad words and try to blame each other for the mishaps. Remember, this could be detrimental to your kids. Therefore, make sure to watch your words before speaking as it can decide what your kids get along. Also, COVID-19 is a viral infection, and it can happen to anybody. So, before making any uninformed comment on the same, getting your facts rights would be the best thing to do.
#8 Allot fun tasks and assignments to them
When you provide your kids with specific tasks, they tend to get engrossed in it, which in turn helps to eliminate their stress to a great extent. You can assign various household chores, like helping you do the dishes or clean the tabletop, or structure gameplays. All you need to do is create a fun and creative environment for them so that they stay away from negativities related to the pandemic. When their minds are into something creative and rewarding, they will be happy and relaxed.
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#9 Avoid forcing them to study all the time
Why are you wasting your time? Go to your room and study. Many parents use study-technique to control the minds of their children to keep them away from the talks about the global pandemic. It is advisable not to do this to your child. There are plenty of other ways to keep them engaged. Only study and no fun time will make them more depressed. Plus, they would lose interest from everything around them. Yes, we know that studying is also essential, but as said earlier, make a routine for your little ones and don’t force them into anything.
It shall pass, till then be patient and keep your child happy!
These are some of the best ways to help your child manage stress during the lockdown. And remember, we can fight Corona for sure. All we need is strong immunity and the knack of healthy living. The happier your kids will be, the stronger will be their immunity.