The pandemic has not only taken a toll on adults, but children too. Yes, you have heard it right! The pandemic has not only affected the physical well-being of children but also their mental and emotional health. It is a need of the hour for parents to ensure that their children stay stress-free amid pandemic. Follow these essential tricks and stop hurting your mental health.
It has been over a year and the pandemic has forced children to stay at home, stopping them from going to school or even gardens or playgrounds. Even social distancing is one of the listed measures to curb the spread of coronavirus which demands maintaining safe distance while talking to the people. It is also suggested to limit the visitors at home or avoid stepping out of the house to keep Covid at bay. A lot of negativity has been seen in the kids during the lockdown. Children fail to follow proper schedules during the lockdown, they have parents around them who tend to keep an eye on the children, and many children do not understand what is happening around them and what exactly Covid is.
Thus, they may end up getting frustrated, depressed, anxious, paranoid, agitated, violent, lonely, and obsessive. Your child may avoid eating or will overeat. He/she may sleep at a stretch or won’t sleep at all. They will have problems like headaches, inability to focus on the studies, forgetfulness, nightmares, stomach pain, and even loss of interest in day-to-day activities. To top it all, they may also feel hopeless and become cranky. They will shout or throw things when something is done against their will. Like adults, even children are struggling to cope with the pandemic.
Here are some full-proof tips to help your child enhance his/her mental well-being amidst pandemic:
Have a structured routine: Set a proper wake and sleep cycle for your children and try to follow it throughout the week. The routine should not halter. Make sure that your children have a balanced schedule. Having a disciplined routine will enable children to lead a stress-free life.
Educate about the pandemic: As parents, you will have to take responsibility for empowering knowledge to your children regarding the pandemic via reliable sources. Comfort them or calm them down by ensuring them that the bad times will pass and they need not to worry as you are there to protect them.
Give some space: Since everyone is at home, it is difficult for children to get some much-needed space. Common, admit it that we all need some space. Do not constantly keep nagging, blabbering, scolding, or beating your children. Let them be on their own for at least a few hours. If your child’s personal space is lost then make sure you give them back.
Engage with your children: You can do activities with your children which they like. This will make them happy and feel wanted. Spend some quality time with your children and strengthen your bond. Play video games with them, exercise at home, talk about their favourite topic, video call their friends and other family members, draw with them or even do yoga and meditation.
Reward your kids: You can hand over household responsibilities to the children to keep them occupied and then reward them for discharging their duties.
Pay attention to eating habits: Make your children practice mindful eating. Limit their intake of burgers, pizza, pasta, cakes, and other bakery items. Concentrate on including all the essential nutrients in the diet. Eat fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, pulses, and whole grains.
(The author is a paediatrician at Kohinoor Hospital. Views expressed are personal.)