Estimated read time : 8 minutes
“A child who sings is a happy child – Elder Enrique Falabella”
We all want our children to be happy, don’t we! It is important to understand what makes them happy and what makes them stressed! Don’t be surprised. Yes, our children are capable of getting stressed too. Surveys worldwide indicate an increase in stress levels in children because of the lockdown.
Let us try to understand the challenges being faced in lockdown are and how it impacts our little ones –
Routines give children a sense of security and stability. Predictable routines help children understand what to expect during the transition and not worry about ‘what if’ situations. As children know what is expected of them, it reduces pressure on them and helps them feel in control of the situation
You can make a visual time table for children. A visual timetable is a schedule that uses objects, photos, pictures or symbols to show what’s planned for a child’s day. Remember to create a time table with some room for flexibility too.
It can include the following –
Plan some physical activities for children and limit the time of your child doing sedentary activities. Physical activities help children build strong muscles & bones, channelize their energy & improve their confidence and self-esteem. Children get a good sleep that results in better health condition also help in destressing. According to Kids Health, toddlers and preschool children should be encouraged to play actively several times a day. Toddlers should get at least 60 minutes active play every day and pre-schoolers should have at least 120 minutes active play every day.
It is also mentioned here that this time should include planned, adult-led physical activity and unstructured active free play. Here are activities that help children do physical activities with fun:
Here are some songs that children would love to dance to –
c. Hot potato
d. Baby Shark
Does your child love pretend play? Young children learn by pretending & imagining. You can use pretend play to fulfil your child’s wishes. E.g. How about going for a –
Children throw tantrums when they are not able to express their emotions. So even though your child might be getting frustrated because of the lockdown, he/she might not be able to express it.
You can play some games that help your child label his/her emotions. You can make a ‘mood meter’ which will be a pictorial representation of some emotions e.g. it will have emoticons showing happy, sad, or angry faces.
Ask your child to indicate what he/she is feeling by pointing to the corresponding emoticon. You can start using a new emotion word in your conversation. This will help build the ‘emotion vocabulary’ of your child and also reduce stress for them when they start expressing their emotion.
Mindfulness can be described as the practice of paying attention in the present moment. Mindfulness improves focus, concentration and reduces stress. Activities here include-
Remember that children are missing their peer group because of the lockdown and are not able to socialize. Arrange for a virtual playdate where they can sing a song, tell story, show and tell or simply chit-chat with their friends. If the online conversation is not working for you, record videos of your child with a message to his/her friend.
There are many more activities that you can do with your children. Keep them engaged, make them feel secured and show your love and affection in more pronounced ways. Yes, they are not able to socialize, but is it not a blessing that they get to spend more time with their Mummy and Dadda!
Hope you have a wonderful time with your children and create memories to be cherished for a lifetime!
“The best inheritance a parent can give his children is a few minutes of his time each day-O.A Battista”