#childsafety | Parenting Monday: Tips to nurture your child during a pandemic

Loop Lifestyle listened in on a recent Teams call as Professor of Child Health, Child Development and Behaviour Maureen Samms-Vaughan took parents to school.

Dubbed Parenting Through A Crisis, the topic of conversation centred around child-rearing and ranged from nurturing emotionally positive children to the do’s and don’t’s of parenting.

The convo also included several tidbits on parenting: when to take a break, how to discipline your child without exhibiting rage, and, among other pointers, the understanding that raising children takes a village.

A screengrab of Professor Maureen Samms-Vaughan during the parenting session.

In short, we list the top tips the doctor recommends for healthy and positive parent-child relationships.

Next Parenting Monday, we share more empowering notes from Dr Samms-Vaughan.

As cliché as it may sound, children learn what they live, and with these tips, parents can maximise these learning possibilities.

Give endless hugs

Hug your child, tell them that you love them and spend time talking to them throughout the day. Ensure that you take time to give yourself hugs as well – you need them as much as they do.

Reduce screen time

Ensure you have brain-stimulating thingamajigs in the home, such as toys (learning and non-learning) and books. Apart from your time spent learning (or teaching), you want to maximise your time together with screen-free games and activities that can take place right in your living area.

These range from reading a story to the children (that often lead to nap time), or playing a board game while taking a break from lessons.

Children who engage with a lot of screens are found to have lower language development, poor social and emotional skills, and so on.

Between ages two and six, it is recommended that children spend at least an hour on screen time each day.

Safety and security of your child

As best you can, ensure the areas that they work in are safe (child-proof) and are practical for learning as well.

If you’re anxious, your child/ward will feed off your energy; it is important for their mental safety that you discuss issues, keep an open dialogue with them about their safety

Discipline.

It’s important to learn ways to discipline your children without hurting them emotionally or abusing them physically.

Discipline is about teaching children appropriate behaviours that are non-corporal.

Some best practices include teaching them right from wrong with calm words and actions; setting limits and boundaries; giving consequences; listening attentively; and giving them your attention.

Take care of yourself, too

You cannot give what you don’t have. Loving yourself is just as important as loving others, especially your children.

Look after you so that you are able to help your children understand or process wellness issues such as anxiety, worry, etc.

According to Dr Samms-Vaughan, there are several ways to take care of oneself, but actions that help you remain calm are key for dealing with children.

Speak to your child

Don’t hasten to anger. Oftentimes when a child does something that you consider wrong or rude, they are simply trying to help or trying to correct something they consider wrong or that may get them in trouble.


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