5 lessons to teach your child before the lockdown ends

Lessons to teach your child before the lockdown ends

As schools and other educational institutions have been shut owing to the lockdown, there is no certainty yet about reopening; children are indefinitely homebound while missing out on outdoor activities and direct classroom learning. At a time like this, it is understandable for parents to fret over the impact a pandemic has had on their children’s lives and education. Parents must, therefore, view the lockdown as a time to bond with their children, and focus on imparting various important skills that will help them get through a mundane routine, while they learn to spend some quality time with the family at home.  

In many ways Covid-19 has taught our children a range of compelling life-changing lessons; they have now understood how the world has responded to a ‘pandemic’ and its impact on aspects that directly affect their lives. As your child remains homebound, here are five lessons you can teach your child before their schools reopen; these will help them stay positive and also ease their going back to school routine once things go back to normal.

STAYING POSITIVE AND AVOIDING NEGATIVE CONVERSATIONS – The things children hear and see during childhood have a direct influence on their perception as they become adults. Witnessing a pandemic that has catapulted into an increasing number of deaths, could potentially impact behavioral and psychological patterns as an adult. News about pandemic and death is likely to have a negative impact on them as they are only just yet building an understanding of the external situation. Instead, parents must avoid negative conversations in front of their children, whether they are personal or work-related. Moderate the negative news intake and alternatively discuss positive news or developments that improve general knowledge while avoiding anxiety-inducing content.

LIMITING THEIR SCREEN TIME – It is a tedious enough task to keep children away from gadgets on a regular day and all the more when they are stuck at home with no school or outdoor activities. To avoid straining their eyes, it is important they limit the time spent on any electronic gadget. Maximum 1 hour of daily screen time for all devices including the TV, computer, gaming consoles, etc. will give them enough time to do other activities and tasks. Set a schedule that is broken down into 15 minutes of screen time through the day for each gadget, this system gives children more control as well as teaches them to regulate themselves without your frequent intervention.

EXERCISING WITH YOUR CHILD AT HOME – If you are a fit parent who regularly went to the gym before the lockdown, you might want to continue your fitness routine at home and perhaps workout with your child! Exercising with your child every day for one hour at home or outdoors, if allowed, will keep you both active. Establishing an exercising routine prevents children from feeling restless due to lack of physical exertion, while also contributing to their mental wellness. Lookup for basic online workout tutorials for children or search for Zumba videos for a fun dance session to the music they enjoy.

HELP YOUR CHILD STUDY FOR 2-3 HOURS EVERY DAY – With an extended lockdown and no certainty when schools will reopen, children need to keep up with their habit of studying regularly. Children often do not sit by themselves to study and need adult supervision to do so. Sit with them for 2-3 hours every day and help them navigate through their academics to keep their mind active and alert. Remind them that studying should not be affected and this time is not a vacation period for them.

INDULGE IN JOINT ACTIVITIES – Quarantine has created an extra burden on parents to constantly keep their child active! Indulge in some fun and interesting joint activities that you and your child enjoy together such as baking or cooking, storytelling, and reading, board games with the family, some art and craft or painting, etc. Teach your child these basic lessons which will not only keep them from getting bored but also help them grow.

Inputs by Dr. Gurudutt Bhatt, Consultant Pediatrician, Fortis Hospital, Kalyan