The Coronavirus Disease and its effect in the form of physical distancing have upended the lives of many, especially the children. Parents are juggling with ways to engage their kids while keeping them safe from infection. School closures, sudden lockdown inside the house, separation from friends and zero fun outings have created fear, anxiety and a feeling of uncertainty in the minds of small children and young adults. Parents are finding it hard to navigate ways to deal with the situation and bring their kids at ease inside the house. Considering the global crisis and changed family scenarios, we need to come out with tips and tricks that can help parents take better care of their kids and maintain the health of the family amidst this pandemic.
Support your kids emotionally through this pandemic outbreak
As a parent, you should be the first person in action to help your child deal with the many emotions he/she might be experiencing now.
#1. Kill the fear with alertness
Educate your child about the symptoms of Covid-19 disease and that they are very similar to flu. Also, let them know that early diagnosis and treatment is successful in saving lives, hence there is nothing to fear. However, keeping safe with all the preventive steps and respiratory hygiene is a must.
#2. Be structured with a routine
The sudden distortion in our routine due to lockdown is obvious to haphazard the set routine of kids as well. However, getting back to a structure is a must. Kids feel comfortable and safe in a predictable day in which they know when to play, when to study, and when to sleep. Ask your teenagers to create their own time-table chart and review that. Include play time, study time, and screen time appropriately. So, set your day and night in the right way!
#3. Don’t suppress your child’s emotions
With an isolated life, your kids might be missing their school friends, the sports events, cultural celebrations, group plays, and other activities which might make them feel sad and frustrated. Let them carry their emotions for some time. Support by being around, but do not curb the emotional expressions as it is very much normal.
#4. Bring healthy distractions
It is difficult to bind kids with a given set of task on a daily basis. So, be ready with some good distractions like game night, fun cooking, zero-work hour, etc. Your overall purpose is to engage your kids actively and pass this phase with good memories.
#5. Keep a check on your behavior
Children take cues from your overall behavior. If you are angry, frustrated or worried, the same will pass to your kids. So, don’t let negative news or a hectic schedule take a toll on your behavioral aspects that get transferred to your children.
Ensure online safety of your children
Screen time of children has increased significantly due to the online classes and other digital engagements for fun. Being connected online with friends and using social media or other sites for entertainment cannot be avoided these days when we all follow social distancing. However, as a parent, you must ensure that your child is safe from online risks and threats.
Things you can do,
- Set parental control over the websites they visit
- Turn on the SafeSearch feature on your browser
- Set up strict privacy settings on online apps and games
- Set passwords to restrict unsupervised downloads
- Go into agreement with your child for the timely usage of devices
- Educate your child about safe internet practices
- Tell your child “what goes online, stays online”, so be aware
Covid-19 diet for your children
This pandemic has disrupted the normal life and poses a threat to the future young generation if they are not fed nutritiously to build immunity and stay stronger. Many people are not able to manage the regular diet plan of their children as earlier. Nothing to worry! You can provide the best nutrition to your child being at home with a little resourcefulness. Here are a few tips for parents to make sure that their children eat healthy.
For babies and toddlers
Continue with breastfeeding if your child is less than six months. Young children can be given soft food every day. Prepare soft porridge and add fruits, vegetables, eggs, milk etc in that. Mashed or pureed cooked food can also be given to them including pulses, grains, cereals, oats, etc.
Give a lot of liquids like coconut water, butter milk, lemon water, juices, or milk as advised.
For grown up children
Depend on healthy snacks and water
Snacks should mostly include lots of fruits and boiled vegetables. This is the time you should cut off the packaged snacks from your child’s diet. Prepare healthy snacks at home like salted cashew, soaked and boiled peanuts, banana cake at home, pancakes, etc.
For liquids, choose to go with smoothies, milk shakes, and pure clear water.
Choose immunity boosting beverages
The present diet of your child will decide his/her future immunity and stamina. Try to inculcate a habit of making them sip Indian Kadha in the morning that mostly consists of Tulsi leaves, ginger extracts, turmeric, cinnamon powder, jiggery, honey etc. You can make your own concoction as per the taste. This will boost your child’s immunity keeping them safe from the risk of infection.
Say “no” to unhealthy food
Due to crisis of time, many families are depending on ready-to-eat food items which are not advisable at this time. Such food items contain a lot of salt, sugar, artificial sweeteners, preservatives etc which have adverse effect on your health. Though it is difficult to completely cut off such items from your list, try to minimize the frequency and portion. Substitute them with less time taking food options like fruits and nuts.
While you take the best care of your child, keep vigilant of any health issues. Try not to go out in crowded clinics and consult a doctor online for general illnesses and keep your child safe and healthy.