Better Ways of Managing Children

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During this lockdown, many parents must be wondering how to keep their children engaged. Children must be making all sorts of demands like going to their favorite eatery or ice-cream parlor or to the nearby confectionery shop or park. They must also be wondering why they are not allowed to meet their friends or go outside. And due to this, many children must be frustrated or acting out.

They might not be able to express themselves and thus might throw temper tantrums. While some on the other hand must be anxious and trying to comprehend this unfamiliar situation. They might also try to make sense of what the family members are discussing about the disease or the economic situation or how the corona outbreak will personally affect their family on various levels. So, how to manage children in such a situation?

Here are a few pointers:

1) Provide them legit information about the virus but in a positive manner. For eg. You can inform them that it is a fever that is making people fall ill. Therefore, everyone is advised to stay at home and follow the precautions to remain happy and healthy. 

2) Mention the precautions in a fun manner, for eg. by showing them a fun video of hand-washing (with singing, etc.) and making them do the same. Praise them for trying and/or doing it the right way. 

3) Don’t go deeper into the facts. Don’t burden them with extra information. Give them an overall idea along with the hope for the future so that they remain positive and don’t feel scared. Also, satisfy their queries by giving genuine but age-appropriate answers (so that they are able to understand better and/ or do not get anxious).

4) Avoid discussing serious concerns in their presence. You can do that when they are sleeping or are in the other room (where they can’t hear your conversation).

5) Try following a proper routine and inculcate the same habit in them. Structuring their day will help both children as well as parents. 

6) Spend some quality time (family time) according to your routine. For eg. Play indoor games (like ludo, chess, monopoly, etc.), do exercise, or cook together. 

7) Every morning or evening try doing some exercises with your children. This will keep you healthy and immune while at the same time will inculcate a positive and healthy habit among your children.

8) Involve/ Engage your kids in household chores such as dusting, mopping, setting the table for meals, etc. 

9) Limit their screen time. The best way to do this is by limiting your own screen time and keeping the gadgets away from your eyes. Give your own example if they demand. Also, fix a time for using gadgets. 

10) Engage them in watering the plants and give the responsibility of one of the plants to them. Teach them how to take care of it and let them handle the responsibility.

11) Engage them in art and craft sessions as and when possible. This fun activity will help in reducing their anxiety if any. Also, it is a good means of expression. 

12) If they act out or throw tantrums, try not to lose your cool. Try to find out what is bothering them by asking appropriate questions and answer them as genuinely as possible. 

13) If you have a pet or the child has a younger sibling, involve the elder one in certain caretaking responsibilities such as feeding them the prepared meal. 

14) Allow your children to be in contact with their friends or loved ones through calls or any other suitable means keeping in mind physical distancing. 

15) Bedtime can be a great opportunity for story-telling. A great story would leave them with some analysis, discussion, and learning.

Hope these pointers will help you in managing your children better. Try to follow some of them if not all. For eg. Pick a pointer a day and try following it on the given day.

The current situation is unusual however these tips are applicable in every situation for healthy parenting.

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