Helping Children Get Through Self-Isolation
With families across Australia being compelled to stay indoors and self-isolate themselves, many parents find that working from home isn’t all it’s made out to be. But that isn’t the least of their problems. The Covid-19 pandemic has proved to be a game-changer, and families are finding it challenging to keep their children calm and busy at home.
To help children through an uncertain number of days of self-isolation, we must consider how the world around them, and the things that are happening, seem to their simple minds. Unfortunately, we can’t merely soothe the situation and create a bubble of normality for them. Children must understand to take the key messages of the current situation seriously.
How children Get Affected In Trying Times
Every parent knows what a task it can be to get children to wash their hands and not always touch their faces. However, there are certain things we can probably do to ensure the situation is better for them so that they are more apt to cooperate. Children find it soothing to be touched as it helps them feel secure and calms their heart rate. The current situation is quite unsettling, and you can expect your children to feel the need for more affection and become clingier.
This is why it’s crucial to maximize physical contact as much as possible. Hug them as much as you can, and encourage affection. You can also speak with your children and ask them what you can do to make them feel a little better. Children are incredibly resourceful and unique, and you must keep the communication going.
While there is no easy answer, your children will recognise that you have noticed them in the middle of all the shakeup. Be aware that your children will be hearing all the news broadcasts as well as adult conversations. They will know when you’re worried and will also see the news on TV every day.
Things that Parents Can Do
While they may not realise exactly what the problem is, they will know that things are different and not “good different”. It also means that you can’t ignore the fact that they will be upset. Here are some things you can do to help them through these times:
1. Be Honest
If they have any questions about the Covid-19 situation, you should answer honestly, but maintain positivity. Tell them that the virus has infected people in many places and that some have died too. You can mention that parents are looking after their children and that they haven’t been affected as much. Stress how important it is that everyone stay at home so that they are safe.
2. Divert Their Attention
Even preschoolers can understand these things. But you are the best judge when it comes to determining what to say to your children and how many details you want to give them. The better alternative would be to divert their attention. Tell them stories, keep them engaged in conversations and cooking activities, and involve them in various indoor games.
You can also play with them in the yard for some time during the day. These activities will keep their minds and bodies active and divert their attention from all the coronavirus talk, which can be extremely frightening for them.
3. Maintain a Routine
Know that a child’s sense of time can be quite different from that of an adult, and the days and hours can seem far longer to them. When in isolation, create a chart and get them to tick off the days on it with a crayon. Try to maintain their routine because their lives are always punctuated with home time, school time, mealtime, and bedtime. This is something you shouldn’t shake.
Keep a schedule of their daily activities, such as playing and reading or listening to poems and playing games, etc. You can use technology sparingly to help them continue learning. Involve them in activities such as garden time, baking, art, and craftwork. Tell them stories and talk to them about nature.
If they find it comforting to walk around the house with a favourite bear or any other plush toy, allow them to do so. Be a little forgiving when it comes to following rules. These items comfort children and help them feel safer. If they overuse a toy and it looks a bit off-putting or has a distinctive smell, resist washing it all the time to keep it looking and smelling new. These aspects are all part and parcel of the continuity of attachment; that’s what they find comforting, so don’t take it away from them.
4. Maintain Hygiene the Fun Way
Children just love to play and you can easily turn hand washing into a game. Soapy handwashing races and soapy hand monsters can turn this essential hygiene activity into something fun. You can buy soaps of various aromas and colours and get them to play with the soaps in the sinks while you monitor them. Do this, so they won’t find it tedious to wash their hands for 20 seconds every time.
5. Let Them Play in The Yard
Allow your children to play in the safety of your yard. It will give them the time they need to frolic around, play with a ball, or any other toys they have. The idea of doing all these things is to maintain normalcy in their routine and not make them feel the severity of the situation around them. Make sure they eat well and rest enough, as it will help them stay healthy and happy. When your children are less stressed and more comfortable, they will keep themselves occupied for the rest of the time. That also takes some of the stress off your shoulders. Stay safe and keep your children happy in these difficult times.
For any more information, call Clovel Childcare and Early Learning Centres, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Just give us a call at 02 9199 0294 or via this contact us form.
For any more information on our Educational Programs, call Clovel Childcare and Early Learning Centres, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Just give us a call at 02 9199 0294 or via this contact us form
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