Current Date:July 28, 2020

Home Quarantine: Psychological Impact on our little heroes

Kids bring joy, laughter and enthusiasm to every home but have we ever considered how our kids are coping when their world has become so small in these few days. The vast space of imagination that a child possessed has been confined to the protective scape of their house. Even our little super hero and super heroine might need the support from a side kick and now is the best time for us as parents to enter into that role.

Along with the immediate effects, the Covid-19 outbreak has started to show its extended effects. It is not easy for us to cope up with the disruption of our daily routine. In the case of children, the effects of this disruption is more severe. After the initial enthusiasm, Children would feel stressed by being cut off from the rest of the world and that they cannot perform their usual duties or engage in their usual activities.

The psychological impact of confinement is much larger in children than adults. Prolonged inactivity and fear of infection are the major stress factors that worry children in the long run. Inadequate or wrong information about the disease obtained from various sources can be a reason for this. They are not just worried about their own health but rather they worry more about their near and dear ones. It’s our duty as parents to inform our kids about the wellbeing of friends and family, as the kids need this affirmation when they overhear various news or conversations that are frightening or confusing for their little hearts. Be truthful and reassure them that you will be there for them and that you will tell them everything no matter what. So they can relax and engage in their day to day activities without worries.

Children always long for that connection. They always long to be in the presence of
their classmates, friends and teachers. Even we adults feel the need for that social
interaction, so we must understand how much more our kids suffer under confinement.

We as parents should be able tackle this situation effectively by planning and taking adequate steps in the right direction;

  1. Create a positive environment within our homes.
    Let your home be a sanctuary that promotes peace and serenity rather than a place overwhelmed with anxiety and stress. Develop an environment that promotes positivity for every member of the household. Arrange the room of your kids in such a way that it promotes their enthusiasm and interest. Analyse and give positive opinions about the things happening around us, at least in front of our kids.
  2. Be a part of their world and spend time with them.
    Execute a mental timetable where you are there for them and ensure that they don’t feel left out. Have more family time and develop a feeling of togetherness or oneness within them. Realise how different their world and imagination are from the adults and act accordingly. Rather than trying to bring them around to our ways and deeds we should be ready to accept their world and characters within it.
  3. Engage them in innovative activities and games.
    You have to be as energetic and imaginative as you can be, to please them with your activities and games. Select the games and activities that are readily available from the internet according to the interest and need of your kids. And for that you must know your kid, spend time with him, join in the games and activities and understand what suits them the best. Take time to develop your own obstacle courses and little innovative activity boxes that are unique to the taste of your kids. Promote spending time for hobbies and learning new skills.
  4. Let them be part of the duties and responsibilities within home.
    Create a friendly environment where everyone in the family works hand in hand. Let the kids be part of all household chores and help out in whatever little way they can. Let us have many little gardeners, little carpenters, little cleaners, little managers, little supervisors or little cooks by the end of our lockdown days.
  5. Cultivate a habit of being active and vibrant.  
    Let’s kill inactivity or boredom and use this lockdown time effectively. Everyone should have adequate sleeping, eating and break time but too much of anything can have an ill effect. Set up a mental structure or pattern to your routines and activities so that you are always active and utilising your time efficiently. Develop a self-energizing and vibrant schedule for yourself and be a role model to your kids.
  6. Find time for meditation and exercises.
    Engage your kids to do various exercise by providing them interesting yoga exercises like garden yoga, ABC yoga, superhero yoga and other such exercises that generate a curiosity within them. Find out simple breathing exercises that are most suitable to cope with stress and practice them regularly. Practice a healthy way of living during these lockdown days and emerge as fit as ever.
  7. Support their mental growth and affirm their mental health.
    The mind-set of each kid differs during this lock down period. Know your child and support them throughout this confinement to ensure their mental health –

    • Identify your kid’s true nature, understand their talents and help them to promote their potential and at the most understand the struggles that are going on within them.
    • Address and give advice for their anxieties and worries rather than our own.
    • Always keep a promise that you have made to your child for they give outmost importance to your words deeds and promises.
    • Rather than getting stressed at their behavioural issues, understand that it is their way of seeking attention.
    • Show your affection openly towards your kids rather than keeping them within.
    • Listen to what they have to say and be there for them.
    • Ensure that you give positive reinforcements for their efforts.
    • Encourage them to ask for help when needed, so that they don’t feel burdened.

Government too have a duty to organize a platform which gives psychological help for both institutions and families during this lockdown period as they are unable to go visit a psychologist or counsellor. Online counsellors and psychologists must be appointed to ensure that everyone is well taken care of at this dire situation. The mental health is as important as physical well-being of a citizen. A platform that could help parents tackle issues related to anxiety, stress and coping can be addressed and supported, is highly needed. Online forums for family and friends to discuss the activities and ideas can help come out of these struggling times in flying colours.

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