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Taking Care of Your Child in These Uncertain Times

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July 16, 2020 0 1 minute, 57 seconds read
Komal Manshani
Clinical Psychologist - Psychiatry
Clinical Psychology

The COVID 19 pandemic has brought forth a situation which was unexpected, and we all were unprepared for. The new “normal” of social distancing, staying indoors, online work and classes, shutting of unessential services etc. has had a huge psychological impact on most of us. Children have suffered in the forms of no school/structure, staying indoors, no physical play, no meeting with friends, no birthday parties, adapting to online classes and so forth. The parents have been helpless since they have been busy in managing their own jobs, work at home, taking care of children, and all the while trying to ensure the safety of everyone in the family. So what can parents do to take care of their children in these uncertain times?

  • Maintaining a schedule: A daily schedule not only inculcates discipline, it also ensures higher productivity, and brings in feelings of predictability in an otherwise uncertain time. A child’s schedule should ideally be close to the school-time schedule, and must include at least some form of physical exercise as well.
  • Bond with your child: Family time can be helpful in making the child feel secure, comforted, and loved. Connect with your child by indulging in activities which are interesting and engaging for the child. Depending on their age, these may include board games, doing an indoor picnic, simple baking/cooking, gardening, exercising together etc.
  • Addressing COVID 19 related concerns of your child: Children have at least partial information pertaining to the pandemic. It is important that their questions are not dismissed. Rather, they should be addressed in a factual, age-appropriate manner, and should be accompanied by reassuring statements such as the recovery rate, the work being done on development of a vaccine, or how the precautions being taken by the family are helpful.
  • Manage your own anxieties: Children are keen observers and pick up cues from their parents, willingly or otherwise. If they see adults around them as stressed, over-cautious, panicky or anxious, they are likely to respond in a similar manner. Thus, calm and acceptance in your behaviour is likely to be replicated by the child as well.
  • If despite your efforts, the child continues to remain inhibited/ nervous/ stressed or anxious, then do not hesitate to discuss the issue with a mental health professional. Online consultation allows you safe access to professionals from the comfort of your home.

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