The pandemic that defined the year 2020 for most of us has affected all aspects of our lives. Businesses of various industries closed down, and worldwide lay-offs occurred. The effect of the crisis on the world didn’t stop at the economy’s downfall either; the repercussions continued to affect everyone’s mental health.
Throughout the multitudes of lockdowns, loneliness and social isolation hit an all-time high causing adverse mental health effects on otherwise healthy households. Job loss, disconnection, and detachment all contributed to increased depression, insomnia, and anxiety.
People of all ages have been affected negatively by the pandemic, particularly our children. Children that are subjected to a drastic change in lifestyle could develop mental problems in their future. As we all know, children are susceptible to change, and the pandemic has shifted both their lifestyles at home and school. Children at child care centers all over the world are experiencing the same issue in this pandemic. As a parent or caretaker, how can you help your children’s well-being through this continuing crisis?
How to support your child’s physical and mental health during the crisis
Educate your children about the crisis
Talks about the pandemic and its effect on the world can put a damper on everyone’s mood, but it’s essential to let your children know what’s happening, too. If you keep your children ignorant of the changes happening to the world, the consequences will follow. They’re bound to notice sooner than later.
Discuss the changes your children are going to experience and let them ask questions about their worries. Answer your children honestly and always let them know you’re going to be with them every step of the way. Educate them on why masks are essential and why trips outside are kept to a minimum.
Positive reinforcement helps stave the gloom away
Notably, this pandemic has made children more anxious and worried than ever. When experiencing severe anxiety, they can act out and hurt themselves. If some of your children are in their teens, they might get frequent mood swings and become irritable. It’s essential not to punish them when they’re suffering from anxiety from missing out on important events impossible to do this quarantine.
It’s best to maintain regular routines for your children to follow at this point in their lives. For example, perform daily walks so as not to let them stay cooped up for too long. Plus, taking a walk or jogging is a physical activity everyone can participate in.
Let them have fun
At every start of the day, plan fun activities your children could do. Try planning virtual play-dates for your children with their friends to let them maintain an active social life. Coordinate with their parents to allot a specific time of the day or week to build a healthy social routine. If you’re tech-savvy enough, consider creating a Minecraft server for your child to use. With this, they can play in the same world as their friends.
As parents, we shouldn’t always interfere with their social interactions if you know they’re not doing something dangerous. From all the negative news we encounter in our daily lives during this pandemic, it’s easy to be an overprotective parent. But remember, the right balance is needed to let your children know they’re safe and secure without the overbearing figure above their heads.
Changes you can make in yourself to help your children through the pandemic
Our primary goal in being a parent is providing a good role model for children to look up to. With the crisis looming over us, it’s normal for your children to focus on the bad events happening right now. To prevent this from happening, be optimistic, and let them know that no harm will befall them as long as they’re in your care. Being bright and cheerful will help your children’s mental health improve alongside yours. Plus, being more upbeat and happier brings an inviting feeling to the household.
Taking breaks from the outside world and staying away from the news every other day will help you cheer yourself up and avoid the dread. Try creating new traditions that include the whole family that you can continue after this pandemic. Family traditions like finishing a thousand-piece Lego set with your children every thanksgiving to engage your family with, plus you can continue this tradition for years to come.
Just like when we were young and wanted to do everything our parents do, the same goes for your children. If you exude happiness and remove gloomy vibes in your home, your children will be happier, too. And don’t worry if you hadn’t experienced having a good role model when you were young. It’s now your time to be the change you wanted.