The past year has been difficult for almost every member of society. Because of the pandemic, schools were shut down, people were told to wear masks and be distant from other people, and the economy went haywire. The number of people infected with COVID-19 increases, with almost half a million people becoming infected daily. Even with the vaccine in play, it shows no signs of slowing down.
Various new mutations and strains are being discovered. All new permutations of the virus show that they are more infectious than others. We are still far away from normalcy.
The hardest hit among us are the children. While they enjoyed the lockdown initially, they are now experiencing the brunt of the pandemic. According to research, children who are experiencing the whole buffet of effects from COVID are suffering mentally, emotionally, physically, intellectually, and socially. Because most have to stay at home to continue their studies, the amount of money each household earns takes a lot of the effect of virtual schooling.
While the tuition remained the same, households are paying for the electricity, gadgets, software, and internet needed for the child to connect. The virtual school is not a piece of cake either. There are reports stating that since school is held at home, the line differentiating school and home is becoming blurred. Now, students are experiencing burnout all the time, even if the school hours are reduced. Even the family stress gets added to the daily academic schedule the student/child treads through.
Helping your children to cope with the pandemic is important for his or her own well-being. Unlike the adults who have experienced a normal childhood, the children are experiencing something that has almost never been experienced before. Aside from never having the chance to meet their friends, all they are stuck with are their housemates or family members. Lack of social interaction is dangerous for a child still learning the ropes to intermingling with peers. The majority of the child’s psychological development is hampered if left alone. The truth is: not all children can handle being placed under lockdown. Children look to adults for support in these trying times.
Helping the youth cope with the traumatic effects of COVID is priority number one if you do not want to hamper their development. Communication is key to explain why the situation and circumstances are like this right now. Children do not fully understand why people need to keep away from others. Excessive panic in your explanation will not bode well with them as well. Explaining things in a calm and informative manner will help them understand the whole picture.
Explaining why we need to do certain protocols and actions for the greater good of all is essential to help them understand community and responsibility. Children are innately good within. Enlightening them with the idea that they are contributing to the overall welfare and well-being of their fellow human will make them feel affirmed with their small act. Be honest and accurate, but decisive and reassuring in communicating with them about their questions and fears. Establishing a daily routine is integral to help them get a grip on daily activities. It will also help them calm down. Predictability gives an order to the chaos.
Do not stray away from activities that they love doing. There are many online classes to choose from to keep their minds away from boredom. The Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts is holding online auditions for those who love theater and would want to have the chance to act and sing. Music lessons are readily available for any instrument on the internet. Keeping the child’s mind busy and enriched is indispensable to his or her personal growth.
The final intent is to keep on learning as if the world intends to spin on even if there is COVID-19 or not. Eventually, after we get through this, they will be thankful to have experienced that mode of learning albeit through virtual means.
Practicing basic hygiene and virus-safe exercises with your children is a healthy way to cope with the pandemic. Parents are role models for children. They look up to the adults for guidance and wisdom to get through the pandemic. Engaging them in practicing hygiene choices to do will make them feel secure amidst the pandemic. It is the simple act of washing one’s hands and keeping one’s mouth covered that can spell the difference between becoming infected or not. Practicing basic hygiene and virus-safe exercises is key to raise a sense of control over their own fate in the midst of the pandemic.
Our children are our future. While it is very unfortunate that they are living in such strange times, not all hope is lost. Through our discipline and patience, we can get through this crisis with them.