How can we take care of children’s mental health during the pandemic?

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Neucrad Health May 28, 2020

Nowadays, whenever we switch on the television or the internet, we only hear news about the COVID-19 pandemic. While we can expect the grownups to understand the current condition and practise social distancing and other rules and regulations concerning the lockdown, it becomes extremely challenging for kids to get accustomed to the current situation. Children are free-spirited individuals and love going to school and playgrounds regularly. When they do not get a chance of going outdoors and interacting with friends for a prolonged session, they may develop mental issues like concentration problems, aggressiveness, frequent mood changes, depression, and complaint of physical ailments like stomach aches and headaches. Have a look at the measures of taking care of children during the pandemic.

Assure Children about Returning of Normalcy

Brown and Green Grass Field during Sunset

Children may feel anxious about the changes in their daily routine. They will ask questions related to the viral outbreak and the necessity of social distancing. Listen to their queries patiently and try to answer them in age-appropriate terms. Reassure kids, that the current situation is a temporary phase, and soon they can resume their regular school and outdoor activities. Be positive about the outcome of the nation-wide lockdown while talking to children. Do not discuss negative data about the COVID-19 outbreak, like the number of new cases or deaths due to the infection in front of children. Try to be cheerful in the house so that kids resonate your positives vibes.

Maintain Virtual Contact with Friends

Girl Wearing Blue Dress While Using Smartphone

Physical distancing from friends and relatives can lead to mental stress among kids. If the lockdown continues to extend indefinitely, then children will start feeling lonely and secluded. It is especially true for families having a single kid. Encourage them to communicate with friends and relatives through telephonic conversations. These days, video calls through WhatsApp and Google Meet app can facilitate virtual meetings among friends.

Include Children in Household Activities

Boy Standing Near Bookshelf

Motivate kids in taking part in simple household chores like cleaning and dusting furniture, organising wardrobes and bookshelves, washing vegetables, and arranging clothes on lines. It will help in utilising their time and energy productively. Moreover, they will also learn to become self-sufficient and independent with their task. It will improve their confidence level and encourage them to take greater responsibilities in future.

Inculcate hobbies among Kids

Girl Holding Black Dynamic Microphone While Looking Above

Nurturing hobbies are one of the most fruitful ways of utilising excess time. Try to find out the activities which inspire your children, like singing, dancing, painting, gardening, writing, or playing a musical instrument. Since kids have adequate free time during the lockdown period, it is the best time to inculcate these hobbies among them. There are ample online tutorials on all activities to guide the tiny tots in refining their strokes.

Indoor Game Sessions

Children Playing Wooden Toys

Reserve family time in the evening when all members can take part in indoor games like carrom, cards, chess, and other board games. If you have a private garden or a protected terrace on your premises, then you can also indulge in sports like badminton and tennis. It will keep you fit, enhance your stamina and energy, improve immunity against infections, and reduce chances of weight gain. Practising yoga for thirty minutes is also an excellent means of remaining fit and active.

Watching Recreations Programmes in Television

Woman and Child Watching Television

These days, many television channels are telecasting exciting recreational programmes for all age groups. You can watch these shows together in the evening. It will help in bonding with family members and spend quality time. Some channels are also broadcasting e-classes on various subjects as classroom activities across the country remain suspended due to the pandemic. These educational shows are immensely helpful for students in rural sectors where online classes are not possible due to connectivity issues and weak economic condition of the population.

These were the various ways by which we can engage the children during the lockdown period and help them spend time productively.

Reference:

1.     Taking care of mental health of children during COVID – 19

2.     Mental health effects of school closures during COVID-19

3.     Mental health considerations for children quarantined because of COVID-19

4.     TALKING TO YOUR ANXIOUS CHILD ABOUT COVID-19

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