Like I wrote in a previous post, please, don’t overwhelm little children with information. Let them digest the situation in bite sizes according to their age groups and level of maturity.

Don’t tell them that they have to stay at home so that they would not contract the virus. Instead, tell them that they have to stay at home so that they would not bring the virus home to infect the vulnerable ones like the elderly and those who have underlying conditions. This way, they would feel a sense of RESPONSIBILITY rather than just the FEAR OF GOING OUT.

Teach them how to wash their hands properly and how to use hand sanitizer when necessary. Better still, do it together. Even the youngest, crawling baby should be involved in the ritual. Buy attractive, scented soaps to encourage them to remember to wash their hands. At the end of the day, hand washing would have become a normal part of their lives.

Let them stick to their usual routine or modify it to suit your taste, but the point is that they should HAVE A ROUTINE. Stick to the same, or roughly the same wake up time and bedtime as before. Draw up a schedule for meal times, nap times, exercise time, study time, play time and outdoor activities within your compound (if available)

Let them step into the balcony to get some sunshine in the early hours of the day as it is a good source of vitamin D for their bones and immune system. Give them healthy foods and lots of water, but minimize sweets and pastries.

Relax with the school work please. They now have more time to cover the syllabus. Don’t push them to do “oversyllabus”. Create a simple timetable and help them go through their work at their own pace. If you run out of patience, just relax and enjoy their company. You can always go back to the work later. Smiles!

Engage them in age-appropriate chores. Let them help with the cooking and encourage them to offer creative ideas. Let them develop basic housekeeping skills and come up with simple crafts.

As you keep in touch with family and friends, let them also keep in touch with their friends and their friend’s family. While you’re on the phone with your parents, call the children to say hello to their grandparents. Let them know that this #SocialDistancing of a thing is actually just #PhysicalDistancing, not social isolation.

Teach them compassion and neighbourliness. Let them see you giving charity to the needy, sharing food with neighbours and showing kindness to people even without going out to meet them.

Again, this is a perfect bonding time for the family. Pray together. Eat together. Learn together. Play and have fun together!

Don’t express negative emotions in front of them. When you receive a bad news and they ask you what it was about, try to wear a smile and use something else to distract them. If you must break a bad news to them, learn how to do it without causing much harm, or get someone who knows better.

You as parents also need to reduce your news intake and engage in more pleasurable activities. You need to take control of your emotions at this time, not only for yourself but also for your children’s mental health

#StaySafe #StaySane #StayHealthy



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