Life during lockdown is a never-before experience for all of us. As schools have closed and workplaces gone remote, many of us are juggling ways to engage kids at home and keep pace with the work. If we view it from a child’s perspective, the situation has changed drastically. While we are stressed managing things at home and fighting an invisible threat to keep our families safe, it has become tremendously tough for the kids to understand and cope up with the situation. This tough and long phase of restrictions has put immense pressure on the children who are getting stressed and anxious.
How do you know your child is stressed?
Children respond to stress differently and the symptoms may vary from child to child. However, if you find below symptoms frequently, you should consider getting the right guidance from your child’s doctor. A few symptoms you should watch out for include:
But, make sure to help him or her by lending a supportive hand to cope up the stress that your child is going through during this pandemic situation. Yes! We all know that the child’s best and foremost security blanket for all times is only parents. Never ignore them! Listen to their concerns carefully and wrap them with warmth, love, and kind words during these challenging epochs.
Reasons for stress among children during Covid-19 lockdown
Everyone in the family is experiencing stress, but the magnitude of it differs from person to person. Getting cooped up inside the house is not an easy chore, especially for the kids who always actively engage in moving around and doing multiple interesting things without much restriction. But, the lockdown has locked them inside, restricting their movements which have ended up raising their stress levels manifold. A few common causes of stress in children during this pandemic include:
- Feeling of insecurity or uncertainty
- Social distancing
- Lack of outdoor activities
- Inability to meet friends and extended-family members
- Lack of social support
How can you help?
Rather than dwelling on the stress, anxiety, and depression along with your kids, focus on the ways to control them calmly and naturally. Parents need a sense of control button to manage stress levels among kids because losing cool frequently, raising the voice than normal, or generally ignoring what child says can worsen the things. To help you, here are our top recommendations to ease stress, calm fears and keep up peace in the family. Check them out below:
- Stick to your kid’s regular schedule. Take a print out of the already framed timetable and follow it as before. Any change in the structure and consistency can drastically affect your child’s health.
- Spend quality time with your kids, like doing any of your kid’s preferred chores together, reading storybooks, playing games, looking at the pictures, or helping them during their studies.
- Incorporate new activities and exercise in their daily routine. A few of them that you can include are yoga, doing a puzzle, baking, dessert making, craft activities, musical activities, board games, dumb charades, hide and seek, water painting, decorating the garden with painting stones, planting some seeds in the pot etc.
- Keep your child’s friends support strong and active. Allow your kids to text or call their friends whenever they ask for. Also, make them remain connected with their friends through Skype, video chat, or FaceTime, if required. Communicating with their friends or family members can alleviate their stress.
- Make a list of your kids’ favorite dish and prepare it. Assign a task to them and include them while you are making their desired food. This makes them feel happy and kids give their best contribution to the family.
- Give your kids only positive instructions and praise them whenever required. This helps to remove the negative layer from their mind, if any.
- Based on the age groups, make your kid aware of the COVID-19 pandemic disease in an easy and comprehensible way. This reduces the ripple effect of panic, even if they know about it from social media platforms or other news media.
- Stress can cause an adverse effect on health hence focus on the immunity-building foods to improve your child’s overall health and well-being. So, incorporate garlic, nuts, seeds, basil leaves, melon seeds, sunflower seeds, probiotics, etc. in the diet. Also, provide a nutritional and well-balanced diet to avoid getting susceptible to COVID-19 infection.
- Ensure your kid stays hydrated always. As temperature is soaring up day-by-day, make your kid drink enough water to prevent dehydration. Include citrus fruit juices or a mix of vegetable and fruit juices to beat the heat.
When to seek medical help?
If you are worried and upset about your child who is showing severe stress and getting depressed more than usual, seek the advice of the doctor immediately. A few simple tips by any expert pediatric can help take care of your child in a better way.
We as a parent might have set boundaries for our kids earlier but, the lockdown with limited movement, social distancing, and online classes have posed more challenges in front of them as they also need time to adjust. So, perfection is not the right core to focus right now. Just relax your boundaries and allow flexibility until the situation turns normal. Also, don’t discuss any negative news about the covid-19 crisis in front of your children. Finally, begin to build a stronger relationship with your kids than ever before during this pandemic situation and break the stressful barrier around them. You are the world to them, this time, just show it. So, “stay with your kid and say no to stress.”
Above all, make your child practice wearing mask, social distancing, handwashing and covering the mouth while they sneeze or cough. Prevention is not to be compromised with. Keep your children safe from infection and their mind, safe from mental stress.
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