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Effective Parenting During COVID-19


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PARENTING AT THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS (COVID 19)

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease. There are many different kinds, and some cause disease. The new coronavirus can be spread from person to person. It is diagnosed with a laboratory test. 

The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.  Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness. COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Most infected people will develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalization.

Most common symptoms of coronavirus(covid19)

  • Fever
  • dry cough.
  • Tiredness.

Less common symptoms:

  • aches and pains.
  • sore throat
  • Diarrhea.
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Headache.
  • loss of taste or smell.
  • a rash on skin, or discoloration of fingers or toes.

Serious symptoms:

  • difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
  • chest pain or pressure.
  • loss of speech or movement.

Seek immediate medical attention if you have serious symptoms.  Always call before visiting your doctor or health facility. 

People with mild symptoms who are otherwise healthy should manage their symptoms at home. 

On average it takes 5–6 days from when someone is infected with the virus for symptoms to show, however it can take up to 14 days. 

The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. To prevent infection and to slow transmission of COVID-19, do the following:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or clean them with alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Maintain at least 1 metre distance between you and people coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.
  • Refrain from smoking and other activities that weaken the lungs.
  • Practice physical distancing by avoiding unnecessary travel and staying away from large groups of people.

Across the world, due to the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), children are affected by physical distancing, quarantines and nationwide school closures. Some children and young people may be feeling more isolated, anxious, bored and uncertain. They may feel fear, and grief, over the impact of the virus.

Many of us are staying at home and doing less in terms of social interactions and exercise. This can have a negative effect on your physical and mental health.

During this time parents are nervous about how this pandemic will affect their children's.    Emotional wellbeing of children is a very important factor. When we regulate our own emotions, we help children regulate theirs; If you want to help your child to calm down, the most important thing you can do is calm yourself down. Raising a happy, healthy child is one of the most challenging jobs a parent can have and also one of the most rewarding. Good parenting helps foster empathy, honesty, self-reliance, self-control, kindness, cooperation, and cheerfulness.

School shut down is a chance to make better relationship with our children and teenagers. Spend some quality time together

First is setting aside some time to spend with each of your children and asking them what they would like to do. The suggestions include reading a book, looking at pictures, going for a walk, dancing, doing a chore together, playing games or helping them study. If you have baby/ toddler:

  • Copy their facial expressions & sounds
  • Sing songs
  • Stack cups or blocks
  • Tell stories, read a book or share pictures

If you have teenager then;

  •  Talk about something like sports, music, celebrities, friends. 
  •   Cook favourite meal together
  •   Exercise together to their favourite music
  •   Listen to them, look at them, give them your full attention, have fun.

 If you have young child then;

  • Read book or look at pictures
  • Make paintings or drawing with crayons 
  • Dance to music or sing songs
  • Help with school work

Another thing is keeping it positive. Use positive words while telling your child to do something. Shouting at your child will make you and them more stressed. Get your child's attention by using their name. Speak in a calm voice.

Praise your child or teenager for something they have done well. By doing like this you will see them doing that good thing again.

Teens especially need to be able to communicate with their friends...Help your teen connect through social media & other safe distancing ways. This is something you can do together too. Teach your child about keeping safe distances. You are a model for your child's behavior. If you practice keeping safe distances and hygiene yourself and treat others with compassion, especially those who are sick or vulnerable; your children and teenagers will learn from you.

Be willing to talk to your children regarding Covid 19. They will already have heard something silence and secrets do not protect our children. Honesty & openness do “Be open” and listen to your children, your children will look to you for support and reassurance. Accept how they feel and give them comfort.

Help Kids Feel in Control

Give your child specific things to do to feel in control. Teach kids that getting lots of sleep and washing their hands well and often can help them stay strong and well. Explain that regular hand washing also helps stop viruses from spreading to others. Be a good role model and let your kids see you washing your hands often!

Talk about all the things that are happening to keep people safe and healthy. Young kids might be reassured to know that hospitals and doctors are prepared to treat people who get sick. Older kids might be comforted to know that scientists are working to develop a vaccine. These talks also help kids manage changes to their normal routine.

Put news stories in context. If they ask, explain that death from the virus is still rare, despite what they might hear. Watch the news with your kids so you can filter what they hear.

Kids and teens often worry more about family and friends than themselves. For example, if kids hear that older people are more likely to be seriously ill, they might worry about their grandparents. Letting them call or video chat with older relatives can help them feel reassured about loved ones.

 

Let your kids know that it's normal to feel stressed out at times. Everyone does. Recognizing these feelings and knowing that stressful times pass and life gets back to normal can help children build resilience.

Keep the Conversation Going

Keep checking in with your child. Use talking about coronavirus as a way to help kids learn about their bodies, like how the immune system fights disease.

Talk about current events with your kids often. It's important to help them think through stories they hear about. Ask questions: What do you think about these events? How do you think these things happen? Such questions also encourage conversation about non-news topics.

Speak calmly and reassuringly.

Give kids space to share their fears. It's natural for kids to worry, "Could I be next? Could that happen to me?" Let your child know that kids don't seem to get as sick as adults. Let them know they can always come to you for answers or to talk about what scares them.

Know when they need guidance. Be aware of how your kids get news and information, especially older kids who go online. Point them to age-appropriate content so they don't end up finding news shows or outlets that scare them or have incorrect information.

How can you help kids cope with stress? Proper rest and good nutrition can boost coping skills, as can good parenting. Make time for your kids each day. Whether they need to talk or just be in the same room with you, make yourself available. Don't try to make them talk, even if you know what they're worried about. Sometimes kids just feel better when you spend time with them on fun activities.

Learning through play;

  • There are so many different types of play that can be both fun and educational.
  • Language, numbers, objects, drama and music games give children opportunities to explore and express themselves in a safe and fun way.

Movement Games

  • Create a dance choreography to your children’s favourite songs. One person does a dance move and everyone else copies. Everyone takes turns being the leader.
  • “Challenge” who can do the most toe touches – jumping jacks, windmill toe touches in a minute.
  • “Mirror” each other – facial expressions, movements, sounds. One person can start as the leader and then switch. Try it with no leaders!
  • Animal dance: Same as above but when the music stops, call out a name of an animal, and everyone has to become that animal.

Telling stories

  • Tell your children a story from your own childhood.
  • Ask your children to tell you a story.
  • Make up a new story together starting with “Once upon a time…” Each person adds a new sentence to the story.
  • Act out a favorite story or movie – older children can even direct younger ones while learning responsibility.

Singing songs to your baby helps to develop language

  • Play or sing a song, and the first one to guess it right becomes the next leader.
  • Make up a song about handwashing or physical distancing. Add dance movements!
  • Keeping children safe online during COVID-19. Children and teens are now spending a lot more time online. Being connected helps them reduce the impact of COVID-19 and encourages them to continue with their lives…but it also presents risks and dangers.
  • Set up parental controls.
  • Turn on Safe Search on your browser.
  • Set up strict privacy settings on online apps and games.
  • Cover webcams when not in use.
  • Tell your children that if they experience something online that makes them feel upset, uncomfortable, or scared, they can talk to you and you will not get mad or punish them.
  • Be alert to signs of distress. Notice if your child is being withdrawn, upset, secretive, or obsessed with online activities.
  • Create trusting relationships and open communication through positive support and encouragement.
  • Note that every child is unique and may use different ways to communicate. Take time to adjust your message for your child’s needs. For example, children with learning disabilities, may require information in simple format.

“When we model peaceful and loving relationships, our children feel more secure and loved. Positive language, active listening and empathy help maintain a peaceful and happy family environment during these stressful times. Keep calm and manage stress. We all need a break sometimes. When your children are asleep, do something fun or relaxing for yourself. Make a list of healthy activities that you like to do. Take steps to manage stress. Managing stress is a big one for families stuck at home. Taking time for yourself-even if it's just a five-minute cup of tea, meditation or exercise can help….”

Remya

Life style Nutritionist