Each year, Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day (May 7) seeks to raise awareness about the importance of children’s mental health and show that positive mental health is essential to a child’s healthy development. This year’s focus is on supporting mental health conversations between parents/guardians and their children, especially in light of the current pandemic.
With the school and day-care getting closed, workplaces shutting and most of them working from home, families are experiencing longer days at home.Kids have been forced disruption of normal activities like the sudden split from friends, including not being able to go to school, the park, play area and seeing the effects of stress on their parents. Children might not find easy to deal with change and some might find it extremely difficult.
Tips to a Child’s Good Mental Health
Reassure children that Lockdown is a temporary phase
and that it is a beautiful way to spend quality time with their parents and family members, who are otherwise busy with office or work. Parents should listen to their kids concerns and try answering their queries. Give them the attention that they need.
Manage your child’s anxiety.
It is normal for the child to become anxious at this time. Look out for emotional cues in your child and talk to them regarding the same. Make them understand that the things will be better if we take proper care. Remember this is a new situation for your children and do not get irritated with them.
Set up a robust routine and schedule for children at home
for online schoolwork, playtime, self-studies or recreational activities such as board games, music, screen time etc.
Help them Stay in Touch with their friends.
Physical distancing from friends could be cause of distress for children. Help them to be connected to their friends, cousins and loved ones by calling them up or through video calls.
Monitor You Child’s Screen-time.
It can be tempting for children to just sit in front of the T.V. or gadgets. When children stop doing their normal activities, it can have effect on their mood. Families should try to enjoy having more spare time than usual, especially what can be very rare for kids during normal days. Avoid heated discussions with kids.
Keeping physically active is critical to boost mood of the children.
Engage them in indoor activities as they might get easily bored during the lockdown. Involve them in stretching exercises, yoga and dancing. Ask them to help you in simple household activities.
Explain to them that social distancing is the best way to curb the virus from spreading and affecting people that they love. They need to understand that this is a worldwide phenomenon that’s never happened before and that everyone is in this together.
Above all, take good care of your children’s health and ensure they get into the habit of washing their hands frequently and cover their mouth and nose with bent elbow when they cough or sneeze. Watch out for any symptoms of COVID 19 in your children and reach out to the doctor if required.
Ensure child gets good sleep and eats healthy food. Be as honest as you can about the current situation and the virus as children thrive on honesty. Thus, creating experiences with mindfulness will ensure children’s emotional and psychological well-being are safeguarded at all times.