For many families, the health and economic consequences of the pandemic generated by the coronavirus are only part of the problem that must be addressed on a daily basis.
Having to spend several days in a row in a situation where young children can barely get out is also difficult for some parents who are already very stressed these days.
That’s why, here we will see some useful tips on how to live in the best possible way with his sons and daughters during the containment produced by the COVID-19 epidemic.
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Follow these guidelines to improve life with your children at home.
1. Define the hours
It is very important to help structure the daily life of the little ones. The fact of hardly leaving the house makes it easier to lose track of time, And feeds the predisposition to waste a lot of time staring at a screen, for example, when other important aspects of life are neglected.
So agree with your children on the schedule structure they will follow; don’t just impose unilaterally, try to involve them in their creation so that it is something more meaningful to them. Once “designed”, hang it in a place in the house that is very visible to the little ones.
2. Create a space for free expression of emotions
The family context cannot be a pressure cooker in which you have to suppress what you feel so as not to disturb others. For this reason, it usually creates situations in which children can express their worries, doubts, worries, etc. Of course, in case they have nothing to say, don’t push it; it shouldn’t sound like an interrogation.
Try to be as spontaneous as possible when talking to the little ones. I if at any time someone is particularly distressed, anxious and emotionally vulnerable in general, don’t ignore them; give it the attention it deserves and try to help right now. To pretend that nothing is happening so as not to cause panic would be a mistake.
3. Make sure the rules of coexistence are clear
It avoids trying to implement very complex coexistence rules with a few exceptions: it shouldn’t cost anything to memorize them. Think that the coronavirus crisis is stressful enough for your children as well as pretending that they are always vigilant in case they break the rules without knowing it.
4. If you have more than one child, encourage leadership roles.
Parents have a very important role to play in giving affection, providing support and allowing toddlers to learn; however, there is one thing that adults can hardly achieve: to be their real behavioral benchmarks in terms of “what’s cool” and what isn’t.
That is why, if possible, we should take advantage of the possibility that older siblings help to raise and educate younger siblings: if they do not separate many years, they have more experience. and mature development than the youngest in the house, but not enough that their outlook on life is totally disconnected. A boy or a girl will almost always try to look like other young people a little older than him.
Therefore, in times of confinement, there is no point in the older brothers helping out: It will lighten your workload as a parent and at the same time they will learn to take on new responsibilities.
5. Lead by example
None of the above will be of much use if in your everyday life your behavior shows that the rules of coexistence and the new habits that you intend to institute to better manage the confinement are of little value to you. For that, shows that you take these measures seriously both when putting them into practice and when applying them and you.
6. Test mindfully
Mindfulness is a set of practices inspired by Vipassana meditation and has been shown to be effective in keeping negative emotions related to anxiety and bad mood at bay. Outraged, since they are very simple to perform, even a child can learn basic mindfulness exercises.
7. If necessary, call in professionals
During the weeks of home confinement due to the pandemic, psychologists continue to work through online therapy services, via video calls.
If you are looking for professional support to better manage life with your children or help them manage their emotions well, you can contact us. Fr PsychoTools we perform therapies for children and adolescents and we are also experts in mindfulness. To see our contact details, go to this page.
- European Center for Disease Prevention and Control. (2020) Epidemic of acute respiratory syndrome associated with novel coronavirus, China; First cases imported into the EU / EEA; second update. ECDC.
- McLaughlin, K .; Behar, E .; Borkovec, T. (2005). Family history of psychological problems in generalized anxiety disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychology 64 (7): pages 905-918.