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We should acknowledge that our kids are going through much worse than us in the lockdown, and do all we can as parents to make things easier on them.
I regularly see posts by parents expressing how this phase has been hard for them with everyone including kids stuck at home. It’s been tough to manage with no play dates, no summer camp, no park time or external activities or play areas.
I also initially struggled with this. However, on a day when my husband and I both were irritable, we realized how resilient our son had been through this challenging time.
This realization made our journey much smoother during these days.
We should acknowledge that our kids are going through much worse than us. In our 30’s we are craving social companionship, dying to meeting our friends and family. Imagine what kids (with limited ways to express themselves) are feeling then?
When we were children, could we imagine not meeting our friends for months, not interacting with our classmates and being with our parents 24/7? We can afford to cut our children some slack.
My son’s school online classes keep him occupied for a part of the day. He spends some time on homework from school. We encourage him to play new games (board games and our own variations of traditional ones), pick up life skills (household chores, fireless cooking etc.) and relax with fun movies or books.
Here are some tips to make it easy for you and your children –
I remember the bombardment of DIY activities, worksheets when the lockdown began. I myself noted a few of them to keep him productively engaged.
While some is good make sure you don’t overdo it. Some free time enhances their creativity. Meals, online classes etc. are non-negotiable but in addition to these try to fit in fun activities that your kid enjoys like board games, video games etc.
While the importance of listening has always been emphasized, it’s even more crucial now when they have no one else to talk to. Allow your kids to ask the most outrageous questions and patiently listen to what they have to say.
Look for non-verbal cues of communication. Let them explain what’s going on, paying extra attention to their tone and choice of words. If needed repeat what they say so that they know you have been paying attention.
We have always been engaging our kids and spending quality time with them but now we have the luxury to slow down and soak it all in.
The bedtime stories can be a little longer. We can admire the illustrations in picture books and look for things we missed earlier. We can re-watch some of the favorite movies and pause and discuss what’s actually going on. We are in no rush to complete assignments and can practically implement what we have learnt.
Let the child decide what he wants to do when but structure such that it syncs with your schedule. When you have to work he can do independent activities. During your down time, you can do activities together.
Screen time may go up but make sure it is age appropriate viewing and spread out through the day. Try to introduce some basic physical activities like jumping on the trampoline, dancing or simple PE to keep them active.
The idea is to use this time to engage in effective parenting skills that promote a co-operation and respect from your children. The way we parent our children now will have a generational impact on how they behave in a time of crisis like this one. It is also a great time to make some wonderful memories.
Parenting is a mixed bag. While there’s certainly a lot of joy involved, it can get overwhelming at times. Not every day is the same so don’t be hard on yourself if one day you don’t feel like doing anything at all. Everyone needs a break once in a while and its completely okay. While baby commercials and social media posts paint a rosy picture, the less than camera-ready moments are different. However, it also gives a sense of fulfillment that’s hard to beat and this phase is about engaging well and at your own pace.
Share with me how you have been managing with your kids under lockdown.
First published here.
Image source: markusspiske on pixabay
Prerna Wahi worked in the corporate world for 7 years. In the past few years, she has been a stay-at-home mom. She has been enjoying the new role ever since and likes to read more...
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