I mentioned before that this Covid 19 pandemic doesn’t only affect us but our young kids too. Sometimes we forgot that in spite the fact that they maybe too young to understand what is happening in the world today, they are still inadvertently affected by all this. There is a disruption to the normal flow of things and in their lives. We need to take in account our kids in our home and help them cope with the #thenewnormal during this pandemic. Online classes replaced the regular classes. Kids are not allowed to enter any public establishments. They are coop inside the house with nowhere else to go.
Here are 5 ways to help our kids cope during this pandemic:
- Go easy on them
Like I mention in my last blog post (See: 12 Mental Health Care Tips During Covid 19) . We are more understanding if our kids are acting up more these days because being coop up inside the house most days can be too restricting for their hyperactive energies. I try to be more patient and don’t go ‘psycho-mom‘ on them when I see them turn our sofa into an indoor playground obstacle or when they spill crackers all over the floor. A reprimand is still on order if they get really really naughty but sometimes my husband and I let it go with a reminder (or sometimes constant reminders). We allow them to sleep in and sleep a little later than usual. We normally not allow the kids to use phones to play games but recently, we allowed our eldest to play pre-approved games on my phone on weekends. We allow a certain amount of leniency and we try not too be too stringent with our rules. We give the kids a space for them to be kids and have fun.
2. Create routines for them
Because the normal flow of things has been disrupted, it is best to create a consistent routine for the kids to minimise a chaotic atmosphere and to give a sense of calm & consistency especially for anxious kids. The kids have their usual breakfast around 8:00 or 9:00 in the morning followed by bath time then followed by online class. We would have lunch then nap time after. They would have their snack time after the wake up from their nap. We would give Naj some short writing exercises before they watch TV. Sometimes Howell wants to join in the writing exercises so we would give him some writing exercises if he feels like it. Kids knows exactly the night time routine of brushing teeth, wash feet ang nighttime prayers. Kids needs the normalcy and consistency in their own house despite the chaos that is going outside.
3. Let them get creative
This time is a perfect time for them to enhance their creative juices. My kids loves playing with the blocks and they have interesting creations that they often show off to Mommy & Daddy. We are amazed at what they can create. They also love to draw robots on paper or create invented drawing games. Naj would think up of games for him and his brother which allows them to run around the house sweating and laughing like “Sticky Popcorn Catch Me If You Can”, “Jump Jump Race”, “Camel Ride”, “Transforming Themselves Into Vehicles” & “Santa Claus & the Reindeer”. They would also cut up A4 paper using their hands and put scotch tape on the cut out to create robots, though we have banned them from doing this already because they were creating so much flying mess and lots of wasted paper. Sometimes, they are just happy colouring their colour books. We are glad that they don’t spend the whole day staring blankly at the TV screen.
4. Teach them responsibilities
Being stuck at home is a great opportunity to teach them to be responsible. We have 3 young kids at home- a 6 years old, a 4 years old and a 2 years old. We don’t have a helper and we need them to be aware that even if they are young, they can contribute in the household duties. As early as now, we want to instill values that they can carry on when they get older. The kids are responsible in taking used milk bottles from the night before during the mornings inside the kitchen, even baby Zeke helps out with that. We sometimes still reminds them from time to time. Naj and Howell also automatically put their plates and glasses on the kitchen counter sink after eating. I try to remind them to fold their blankets in the mornings after their breakfast. It may not be perfectly folded but they will eventually get the hang of it. Naj is responsible in watering our aloe vera plants every other day which he lovingly calls “Corny”. We help him by creating a calendar checklist for him pasted on the ref door when he needs to water Corny. He loves this assignment and never begrudging does his duties. He is a little bit sad now that his Corny ‘s leaves are turning brown so he is hoping he can still resurrect it.
5. Be present
Now that we have the kids 24/7 at home, I try to be mindful to be more present with them. We love slow breakfast mornings together when I don’t have morning work duty. I try my best to put my phone away when I am with them. I try to soak in the moments that I have with them – listening to their imaginative stories, praising their creations, nap times with them, cuddle times in the bed, watching cartoons with them, doing our nighttime prayers. Upon the insistence of my kids, I try to join their hide & seek games, Sticky Popcorn Catch me If You Can, race from bedroom to living room & back again until my stamina allows me. Though after like 2-3 runs in their game, I would tell them , ‘Mommy needs to rest for a bit to catch my breath’. It is a great exercise for me too, hehe…
I hope parents out there might find this list helpful. Kisses to your little ones. I pray this Covid 19 will go away hopefully by 2021. Inshallah!