A pandemic of acute respiratory infections caused by a new strain of the corona virus (COVID-19) has upset families around the world. Closed schools, working remotely, keeping a safe distance from everyone – there are just too many things to deal with, especially for parents. We have teamed up on this Long-term Parenting for Health initiative to provide parents and caregivers with helpful tips for managing this new (temporary) lifestyle.

Let’s explore the tips!

  • Spend time alone with your children
  • Keep a positive attitude
  • Schedule activities
  • Handling bad behavior
  • Calm and control stress
  • Talk about COVID-19

1. Spend time alone with your children

Can’t go to work? School closed? Worried about money? It’s normal to feel stressed and overwhelmed about these things. Closed schools are also a great opportunity for parents to have better relationships with their children. Parenting time with children is a very happy and productive time, helping children feel loved, safe, and important to their parents.

Make time for your child alone

Maybe in just 20 minutes or so – it’s up to us. Or you can spend time with your child at the same time each day so they can anticipate and expect.

Ask what you want to do

The right to choose helps children feel more confident. If what you want to do is not appropriate for keeping a safe distance from everyone, then this is your chance to talk to your child about pandemic.

For toddlers

• Imitate facial expressions and the sounds your child makes.

• Sing or make music with a pot and spoon.

• Stack cups or blocks on each other.

• Tell a story, read a book or show your child pictures.

For young children

• Read books or view pictures together.

• Go for a walk together – outdoors or around the house.

• Dance to music or sing!

• Housework together – turn cleaning or cooking into one game!

• Help your child with homework at school.

For teenagers

• Talk to your child about things they like: sports, music, celebrities, friends.

• Go for a walk together – outdoors or around the house.

• Exercise together to your child’s favorite music.

Turn off the TV and phone. Listen to your baby and look at your baby. Give your child full attention. Have a good time!

2. Keep a positive attitude

It’s hard to keep a positive attitude when the kids are driving us crazy. The result is often we will shout, “Stop now!”. But children tend to do what parents want when parents give positive directions or praise what their children do right.

Say the behaviors you want in your child

When telling your child what to do, use positive language; eg “Put your clothes in the right place, honey!” (instead of saying “Don’t be a mess!”).

All due to the way of communication

Scolding your child will only make you and your child more angry and stressful. Bring your child’s attention by calling out his or her name while speaking in a gentle voice.

Praise when you do well

Compliment your child every time they do a good job. They may not show their emotions outward, but you will find that they continue to do so. Giving compliments can also help your child believe that you pay attention and care for him or her.

Be realistic

Can your child really do what you ask? It can be difficult to keep babies quiet indoors all day, but at least they can be quiet for 15 minutes when you need to call.

Help your child stay connected with friends

Teenagers especially need to be able to communicate with friends. Help your child connect with friends through social media or other secure modes of communication. Or you can do this together with your baby!

3. Schedule activities

COVID-19 upset most of us in the day-to-day, home and school chores. Both parents and children have difficulty getting used to the new way of life. Scheduling daily routines can help somewhat in this situation.

Design a flexible yet consistent daily schedule

• Create a schedule for yourself and your children, including learning, work and play. This can help children feel safe and behave better.

• Children can also participate in scheduling day-to-day schedules – like scheduling school work. Children will follow a schedule better if they are involved with construction.

• Include exercise in a schedule for each day – to help reduce stress and have more energy at home.

Guide your child about keeping a safe distance

• If the situation is okay in your country, take the child outside.

• You and your child can also write letters or draw pictures, and then share them with others. Hang pictures outside your house for all passing by!

• Reassure your child by talking about how to keep yourself and everyone safe.

• Take your child’s opinion seriously.

Turn hand washing and protection

Please answer your child’s questions honestly. Think how old your child is and how much he can understand.

Donate

Maybe your child is frightened or confused. Give them space to share their feelings and let them know that you are always there.

Not knowing the answer is also okay

There is no problem saying, “You don’t know, you are studying; Or parents don’t know, but parents think … “. Take this as an opportunity to discover something new together!

Please sympathize instead of discrimination

Explain that COVID-19 has nothing to do with a person’s appearance, appearance or voice. Tell your child that we should empathize with those who are sick and those who are taking care of them. Share with your children stories about people who are not managing the epidemic day and night and taking care of infected people.

There are many stories all around us

Some stories may not be true. Use a reliable source like UNICEF or the World Health Organization.

Finish comfortably

Check to see if your child’s feelings are okay. And remind them that they are always considerate and able to talk whenever they need it. Then let’s do something fun together!

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