Tips for parents to cope with their children during the coronavirus.
Everyone is going through a hard time and most people are worried about the current situation and they wonder, what next?
As adults, it is hard to absorb what is going around us when almost the entire world is struggling with the Covid-19 Virus and life style and routine have completely changed.
Imagine the impact of this crisis on our children, where their anxiety can become amplified. They already have their own questions, own perceptions, their thoughts and feelings about this unusual situation. At the same time, as adults and especially parents, we might indirectly increase their anxiety and negatively affect them by being stressed and worried around them.
To help our children live through this difficult moment with less stress and anxiety:
- Explain the situation to them clearly and honestly and talk openly about the coronavirus and the reasons for staying home.
- Explain to them that they are not punished by being at home, it is for their safety and the safety of others.
- Educate them about the specific hygiene protocols they have to follow for prevention.
- Increase communication with them and reassure them by answering their anxious questions.
- Encourage them to express their thoughts and feelings about the situation.
- Ask them to express their emotions or fears through the use of various types of art, painting, dance, writing and musical activities.
- Increase fun time at home by playing with them or listening to their imagination, dreams or funny stories.
- Increase communication at home and share with them positive memories and positive thoughts.
- Enjoy daily breakfast, lunch and dinner together. Families who eat together develop strong parent-children bonds. Kids are likely to talk and share things with their parents.
- Do exercise together, it’s a great way to let kids burn off energy.
- Ensure a good environment and a comfortable place for the E-learning. Motivate them to enjoy this new experience.
- Try to keep your children occupied. Be creative and fill their days with new and different activities.
- Let your kids change location at home. Spend time together in the kitchen by cooking something, then change the setting by reading or playing in the living room etc.
- Enjoy the chaos with them - let things be out of place, without showing them that you are stressed and out of control. Relax the boundaries a bit.
- Give them their space to communicate with their friends via phone or on social media.
- If you feel tired and overwhelmed, step away and take a break. Try not to be hard on yourself. Talk on the phone with your family members or your best friends.
- Try to turn the TV off as well as the social media applications, and choose only one official site to check for updates. Reading the news the whole day can develop negative vibes at home and increase conflicts with the kids.
- Invite your children to accept this “new” reality and this “change” with positivity and build their resilience.
Let's benefit from staying home with our kids, not only to protect their physical health and boost their immune system to avoid catching the coronavirus, but to improve their psychological well-being which can increase their bodies immune response. When your child is happy and emotionally stable, he is healthy, more productive, more energetic and more creative.
Let’s keep beautiful memories in their minds for the future, despite the hard times and work toward keeping our children healthy both physically and emotionally.
Family and Couple Therapist
Mrs. Nathalie Dib holds a Masters Degree in Psychology from the Lebanese University and has over 9 years of experience in her field. She has worked in a variety of school settings as a psychologist in Lebanon and practiced in her private clinic before moving to the UAE. Mrs. Dib specializes in conducting cognitive and psychological assessments, provides therapy and offers strategies to individuals, groups, parents and educators to help children overcome social and emotional problems or learning difficulties. She also handles cases related to behavioral problems such as physical aggression, hyperactivity, emotional problems such as depression, anxiety, phobia, shyness, enuresis, sleep disorders, low self-esteem, panic attack, mood disorders, individual therapy for children, adolescents and adults. Mrs. Dib conducts couples therapy and systemic family therapy, post-traumatic stress disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Moreover her areas of focus is to support patients and education professionals, oversees workshops, plans administrative practices and management advisory.