The lockdown in the country can be a challenging task for parents as children cannot venture out of the house. Keeping children at home does not mean being glued to the TV or the internet. While these mediums can keep children busy, they can be also result in withdrawal symptoms in children. “Don’t shirk responsibility with mobiles and games. Don’t think love can be bought with money. Humility and manners should be taught. They should to respect servants.” Says Senior gynaecologist and educationist Dr.GouriKumra.
What Parents Face During The Lockdown
Dr.Kumra goes on to say that parents are unrestful for the moment and husbands are perturbed about work, with the uncertainty of whether the lockdown will extend beyond the 15th of April. In this scenario, mothers are under pressure as husbands tend to be irritable and inturn this environment, children can be impacted. It is important to keep children engaged by spending time with them.
“Give them live activities like pruning the plants, do drawings with the children and do not shout at them as they will feel that our parents don’t like us. Promote positivity by teaching them how to make their bed, how to tidy their cupboard. Seek empathy from children saying that mama has to do all the work as the cleaners have not come, pick up the wrapper or help me clean the bed, rather than screaming and being desperate.” Adds Dr.Kumra.
Ignoring needs of children during this time during the lockdown can signal the onset of stubbornness and husband and wife need to talk and show compassion. Parents can read out something good, give examples of being patient and compassionate. This is the time to make them to think about society. Give live challenges and not just rely on toys and mobiles to keep them busy. Even when toys are given to children, let them be constructive like building houses and examples on community work.
What do parents do when there are infants in the house? “I suggest that everybody has to be patient, calm and it is also clam to put on a Z sound so that can help them sleep. This is a humming sound that helps a baby sleep. Another thing that families should do are tranquillity exercises”. Adds Dr.Kumra.
How To Beat The Internet Age
In the age of the internet and where television rules most households, how do parents play the balancing act? VanditaSanghvi who runs an activity centre for children in Kolkata called ‘Curious Little’ feels that parents have to lead by example.
“I cannot tell my children to have less screen time and be stuck on my phone or laptop. Have time out periods when everyone does their own thing with no interaction with each other. This could be a time when parents want to rest. Children should not be questioned about what they choose to do in that period. It helps them make independent choices and fulfil their desires. Constant instruction or being told what to do kills creativity and increases dependence.” Says VanditaSanghvi.
It is ok for them to have increased screen time says Sanghvi, though the content should be monitored. There is a lot of content which is inspiring children to be creative and think out of the box which can be encouraged. Engaging them in household chores is also a great way to spend time with them and build a sense of responsibility.
“Play simple games that are related to English and Math which keep children busy as well as connected to their school work. Playing scavenger hunts with simple riddles or board games are some examples. It is about spending quality time with them.” Adds Sanghvi.
Finding the right solution is about engaging them in the right manner and there are innovative ways to spend time with children at home. It is also a time when parents can get to understand their children better, their needs and their behavioural changes if any they have missed out on. Most importantly, it is about realizing that in the age of easy information, parents should be like friends to their children. This helps to create a strong bond and stops children from doing anything rash when they confide in their parents who inturn explain to the situation to their wards instead of reprimanding them. Lockdown is the time to build that foundation, so make the most of this time.