Coronavirus has affected people from all age groups, both in respect of health and emotional breakdowns. Especially the children and teenagers tend to experience the emotional waves much intensely. With the schools closed and restrictions imposed on meeting friends, they might be filled with anxiety, uncertainty and fear of not ever getting back to normal life. This situation calls for parents to play a major role in making their kids familiar with the situation and help them deal with these tough times.
As the nation moves towards reopening, accordingly, it becomes more important to make sure your kids follow the rules. Getting back to the cycle of homework and school schedule can be stressful after months of being away from academics. Children might feel reluctant and frightened to get back to their normal schedule. Now the question arises, how to teach kids and teens to manage anxiety during the reopening? How to make sure your kid follows the social distancing and basic sanitization needs. Even if the lockdown has not been completely lifted in your area, but eventually it will. So, it is better to gear up for what is coming up and prepare yourself and your children to face the situation.
To help you get a clear understanding of how to help your children navigate through the complicated emotions they may be facing with going back to school. Here are some tips and areas you can focus on to be better prepared!
Overcoming Uncertainty: – The pandemic of Coronavirus is here, and some news feeds just exaggerate fears. Some might make you feel that it is just outside your front door. It is very obvious that some of us might freak out watching these drastic changes and may lead you to face uncertainty. The key is to remain level-headed, sensible, and avoid stressing yourself out. Experts tell us that 80% of the population will not require any or minimal medical care to fight the virus. They also say that the transmission rate is high, but the mortality rate is low. However, it is necessary to continue being vigilant, stay calm and level-headed, and follow recommendations from the experts:
1. Don’t go out if you are sick and better self-quarantine yourself for 14 days. During these 14 days, strictly avoid going to public places and get yourself tested if your illness continues.
2. Practice social distancing recommended 6 feet from others.
3. Wash your hands frequently using a bar of soap or a high alcohol content sanitizer (usually 60% or more alcohol content). Practice this, especially when you come from outside.
5. Avoid touching your face. Avoid handshakes and hugs. Better practice slight bow, namaskar, or elbow bump when you meet someone.
6. Avoid touching doors using bare hand, especially at public places. Try keeping a sanitizer handy. You can also use a sanitizer wipes to wipe out the knobs before you touch them.
7. Keep a good practice of a sanitizer or a disinfectant bottle at the entrance of your home.
8. Eat well, exercise daily, and get an ample amount of sleep to keep your immune system strong.
A pandemic has come, so, instead of panicking, you better prepare yourself and your kids by taking protection and measures.
Practice acceptance: – To beat the complication, better practice the practical acceptance. There is no denying that preparing your child full-fledged for the crisis is not possible as even you don’t know what changes the school will have. But you can start from basics, like making your children accept the importance of wearing a mask, gloves, and practicing social distancing. Having seen the consequences of the pandemic, you should make sure to take precautions and make sure your children take them too. After the unlocking of your area, your child would ask for going out and meeting their friends, instead of grounding them you better make them grounded to the rules of precautions such as wearing a mask, using sanitizer, and maintaining social distancing. Instead of saying, ” If you don’t follow, you will die,” you should better say,” If you take precautions, you can save yourself and people around you.” Taking a more rational and acceptance strategy will make you in a better state of mind and a better approach to coming situations. Try to emphasize that this pandemic affects everyone and so everyone has a role to play in it. It is tempting to make your child understand until they seem to get it. Instead of lecturing your child, accentuate that they have a role to play.
Do not focus on worst-case scenarios: –
Experts suggest that it is better to have a rational approach to such critical times than to have a negative mindset taking down to a worst-case scenario. A pandemic has come around, so you better understand the situation and take the right precautions. News feeds exaggerate too much about the pandemic, and instead of providing information, all they do is create panic. Few channels play haunting background music as they report restraints: school closings, forbidding social gatherings, the stock market plunging, social distancing, school closings, travel bans, and rising death rates. In all these cases, it is better to follow some authentic news feeds; rather, it’s better to follow the WHO (World Health Organisation) guidelines to deal with this pandemic situation. The fake news and Whats App forwards make the situation worse. You have to make sure your child does not follow such paths but instead make them aware of the right information. Avoid yourself, and your kid gets into clutches of Whats App university and thus making yourself in the circle of the worst-case scenario. To avoid misinformation as your kids to follow some trusted source. Getting the right information and following the right precautions will give you better peace of mind and space.
At times you may hear of how tough situations can get when schools reopen and social distancing might not be followed; instead of panicking, you should do the reality check and keep reminding yourself that taking precautions can save you. Everyone has a role to play here; make sure your children get this point straight.
Build skills to manage anxiety: – In these tough times, a highly organized person can also get anxiety. It is not surprising if someone is afraid of stepping out or thinking of going to the hospital if something happens. These negative thoughts are increasingly becoming a matter of concern for the mental well-being of a person. So, it is especially important to work on building skills to manage anxiety and stress. You as well as your child might be going through mental distress at these times. Since pandemic and the lockdown, you are at your home with your kids around. It’s obvious that they are watching how you respond to the situations. This is important that you act sensibly around your child and the teenage kid. Be empathetic enough to understand their needs and urges. Your action speaks much more than the words you utter. With the lockdown lifting up, your children would want to go out and meet their friends. Instead of scolding them, make sure they take proper precautions, make sure to talk to the other parent and make them realize that it is not just them but the community whom they need to take care of. To have your mental health in check, you can follow the listed measures:
1. Make meditation a healthy practice in your home.
2. If you are scared, try not to think of the worst scenario but focus on the current status.
3. When your children ask you something repeatedly, instead of scolding them try to listen to their perspective and then sort out the matter.
4. If you are stressed out in between your work and your home, take a moment to breathe, and then respond.
5. Make your children aware of mental health and try having a conversation about their problems.
6. Try to agree with them on the problem they face even it seems insignificant. This will help you gain their confidence and make them follow your words.
Assess risks before making decisions to lower anxiety:– Anxiety handling can be tricky if not taken enough care of. Expert says that when faced with a tough situation, it is important to first calm yourself down before rushing to a solution. Approaching a problem with a clear mind will lead to better results. It is important to analyze and assess risks before deciding a decision to lower your anxiety. With the fake news, Whats App forwards, and other exaggerated stories going around, it is important that you stick to the facts. Instead of panicking to the situation, you should rather give a reality check on the facts. Your children are exposed to all this social media and friend circle of immature kids who are too keen on any saddening news related to the pandemic. It is your responsibility to make sure your kids do not get into such traps. Make your children realize the importance of correct information. Whenever faced with a tough situation, Stop what you are doing and take three (or more) mindful breaths. Repeat this as needed and make your children learn this. Talk to your children about their problems, gain their confidence, and then help then eliminate those issues together. Many times, the anxiety you feel is unnecessary and can just go away by a simple reality check. Ask yourself the question, “Am I overthinking the matter?”, you stick to present and thus problem solved.
Wear masks: –
Wearing a mask can limit the spread of respiratory diseases. But wearing mask alone is not a guarantee of preventing the spread of any infection. In the case of Coronavirus, wearing masks has been mandated by many countries for stepping out of their homes. Mask can help in limiting the spread of the virus from the infected person to a healthy person. If you are healthy and you wear a mask, that does not mean you won’t get the virus. It is important for the infected person or a person suffering from some illness, uncertain about its type, should wear a mask. The masks should be worn according to the norms specified by the local government regarding the control of COVID-19. Moreover, proper hygiene should be ensured not only while wearing the masks but also while disposing of the masks.
In common practice, wearing a mask should be made a practice if you are not feeling well. Your child might want to go out, but you do not know that the person he/she is meeting is healthy or not. Here it is the responsibility of parents to make sure they maintain social distance and take proper measures. Taking about masks, many people would encourage having their kid meet with others without a mask, as both of them are unaware of the other one health. In such a scenario make sure your kid wears a mask when they go to school or anywhere outside. Wearing a mask, maintaining social distance, and using sanitizer should be made learning to your kids.
The situation around you might be tough, and anxiety issues might be your next biggest risk when the complete lockdown lifts up. Stay vigilant, take the right precautions’ and be empathetic towards others. Everyone is together in this situation, so everyone has a role to play here. Emphasize your kids the need to play their role and be vigilant enough to tackle the tough times. Once the schools reopen, the starting months might be a little worrisome but remind them that this is not forever. Prepare them well with using masks, sanitizer, gloves, and taking other precautions. Talk to them about their problems and act accordingly. Remind yourself and your kid that whatever happens, life will go on. Whatever the “new normal” is, everyone is supposed to adjust the best that they can.