Managing Stress in Children during Corona Virus Lockdown
School closure and social distancing have made it difficult for children to stay connected with friends and relatives. In order to ensure that our children don’t feel isolated or ignored, we must make them accessible to their friends and relatives.
As people have been advised against going out to parks and grounds— as the virus can stay for 3 or 4 days, children are spending their summer holidays at home with parents instead of playing with neighbourhood friends or classmates. Social distancing and self-isolation can cause stress in anyone and more so in children. Adults can understand the reason behind this, children wouldn’t and that it’s important for your to explain the reason.
However, lockdown doesn’t mean children have to be zoned in their homes all day. Technology and some social distancing can make children’s lives easy.
Here are some recommendations to lower your child’s stress.
Virtual meet-up or play dates
All of us, at least in India, use WhatsApp to keep in touch with people and for business and communication. Use WhatsApp for video calls to have your child stay in touch with his pals. You can also use Zoom, Facetime, and Skype to help your child meet the people he likes. Use WhatsApp, Zoom, and Skype for play dates. Your child would feel comfortable in just having a friend, even if it’s online, around him.
Do 30-45 minutes of yoga every day. Now is the time to do or learn some yoga, if you are not already in to it, and teach your child. There are hundreds of free apps and websites where you can learn age-specific yoga. It will not just keep your child healthy physically but also spiritually and mentally. Yoga is known to help people get rid of stress.
- Play Online Games
There are certain games that can be played by multiple people even if they are not in the same room. With CODIC-19, some of these games have become free or even more accessible. Download apps like Pogo to let your child play monopoly online with his friends. This will help them get rid of stress.
- Host a Movie Night/Movie Time
If you have reasons to believe and only if you are sure that the other children in the neighbourhood or apartment are not infected, then you can invite them to your home for a movie night. Make sure their parents agree to send them to your home because today everyone is a suspect. Several apps or websites play the latest movies. All cinemas are closed now and to watch the latest movies, you can depend on apps and websites to catch up on the latest movies.
- Cursive Writing
With nothing mush to do, you can ask your child your child to do some cursive writing. This will help them improve their handwriting and also give them confidence to write well when schools restart.
- Go outside if possible
While social distancing means staying indoors all day, if you live in an apartment, check with the management if it’s okay to take a walk in the building. If they permit you, then you must take a stroll with your child and take in some sunlight. If you live in an independent building then you have all the time on earth to soak into some sunlight and breathe fresh air. You can even ask your child to read some books or papers in the balcony. Either way, your child and family will benefit from you taking in some sunlight and burning some energy.
You must check how you and your wife or other elders in the home are handling your child’s stress. You need to have patience with your child and deal with his stress. Take a step back, think of other possible ways of how you can work around your child’s stress. These are extraordinary and unfortunate times and everyone is going through some level of stress right now across the world. You need to have disciplined and effective way of stress management.