#childsafety | Keeping your l’il ones occupied during the pandemic

In an effort to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, provinces across the country have announced extended school closures.

These scholastic shutdowns, coupled with doctors recommendations to stay home and practice physical distancing, mean that the parents everywhere are suddenly spending more time at home with their children. With such short notice, many parents are left scrambling to find ways of keeping their children occupied.

Apart from studies, kids these days are having no proper physical activity as parks have also been closed.

There has been a paradigm shift in terms of parenting, the situation is such now a days that both the parents have to go out for work to keep the economic strata constant. The birth of schools with extracurricular activities to keep the children occupied the whole day was because parents could not parent anymore.

Purnima Nagaraja, Consultant psychiatrist and psychotherapist, Dhrithi Wellness clinic said, “Previously when the joint family culture was there parenting was not that tough as there use to be someone always from the family to look after the child. But now as the joint family culture is faded away there is no support from the family to the parents to look after their child.”

Today due to corona the paradigm has shifted back to the old style of parenting where the owners of parenting is on the parents and not on teachers and domestic helps. So, many parents are giving up their and working from home to be with their children. If both parents are working then one parent is working from home to look after the child.

Activities that can be done

• The kids can be kept occupied with some family bonding sessions and family events like eating together, watching a movie together or playing some board games, etc. You can have family video call sessions with other relatives and can do some activity together to keep them occupied.

• You can play activity games within your home like hide and seek treasure hunts which will keep the kids active and interested in the activity. This is a new world that we are suddenly seeing, nobody ever expected this and it has suddenly flung up on you. We all need to learn to adapt to the situation now, keeping our mental health in peace and our children’s mental health in peace.

• Particularly if you have younger children, you can give them to play and create art with clay or colors and also you can hold session for a group of kids them if you live in a gated community and make them aware about the current situation and importance of safety and cleanliness and keeping yourself clean.

• Physical activity should be part of your child’s daily routine. Some tips for increasing your child’s physical activity include setting limits on screen time, encouraging your kids to take breaks from sitting throughout the day and going out for short activity sessions to break up the monotony. You can also look for child-oriented fitness or dance classes online to add some variety to your routine. With some creativity, you and your family can find ways to have fun and be physically active within the current rules and guidelines.

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