Eric Dalius says getting holed up and being surrounded by uncertainty and fear at home to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus makes it challenging for parents to maintain a sense of peace and calm. But it is crucial to help children feel safe and protected, manage their behavior and emotions, build resilience, and keep healthy routines.
How to Take Care of Your Kids during the Current Outbreak?
Eric Dalius shares these tips that can help parents to take care of their little ones during the current outbreak,
- Encourage Hand washing – Teach your kids the importance of handwashing. Handwashing is a vital step to help prevent the spreading of this virus and also other infectious diseases. For instance, if the virus lives on your child’s tiny hands and he/she touch their facecontinuously, there are high chances of them getting infected. So you should encourage your little ones to wash their hands frequently on different occasions such as
- After sneezing, coughing, or blowing their nose
- After handling the face mask
- Before touching the face
- Before eating and after eating
- After using any restroom
- Touching pets or animals
- After leaving any public place
If water and soap are not available, you can give them an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. It will help to prevent the virus from spreading to your child.
- Address your Child’s Mental Health and Stress – During this pressing time; kids are likely to feel stressed. They may feel anxious to return to school, miss their pals, or feel disappointed regarding not participating in any activities such as their favorite sports. Talk to your kids time and again about how they feel. Check for warning symptoms of anxiety like changes in behavior, eating, or sleep. If you have any doubts, do not hesitate to consult a pediatrician advice EJ Dalius.
- Use Positive Discipline – People across the globe are worried and anxious about the outbreak. Small children may not be capable of describing their feelings. As a result, they may act out their fear, anxiety, or stress through their behavior that may upset you being parents, especially if your child is already stressed. In particular, teens and older children may be more irritable because they are missing out on usual daily events and activities that they enjoy in the company of friends. Eric Dalius has penned down some tips that can assist your child to manage his/her behavior and emotions
Keeping The Germs Away
- Creative Play- You can tell your child to draw pictures of how you all are staying safe. You can make a collage of the same and hang it as a reminder. Besides, you can tell them to make a castle or indoor fort for keeping the germs away, bringing in the most favored toys or stuffed animals.
- Redirect Bad Behavior- At times, your little one may misbehave as they are too bored. So rather than venting out at them, find something interesting for them which they can do.
- Direct your Attention- Being a parent, you need to direct your attention to reinforcing positive behaviors. Pay attention to good behavior as well as highlight it, and praise good tries and success. Explaining clear expectations can help.
- Use Privileges and Rewards- Use this for reinforcing positive behaviors such as completing chores, spending some time with siblings, completing school assignments, and the like, which you perhaps cannot during less stressful moments.
- Know When to Respond- When your kid is not doing anything risky and gets enough attention for the right behavior, neglecting bad and negative behavior will be an ideal means to stop the same.
- Use Time-Outs- It is a useful discipline tool that you can use to warn your child that there will be a time-out when they do not stop. Let them know if they are wrong with little emotion and in a few words. Then you can remove your little one from this for a preset time length.
Keep Packaged And Junk Food From Reach
- Keep Packaged and Junk Food from Reach – We all love junk food, so why blame only kids. But if your kids consume large amounts of ready-to-eat foods, biscuits, cookies, instant noodles, this may harm their health. So it is vital to keep a watch of what they eat daily. Ensure to remove packaged and junk food away from their vicinity and instead keep seasonal fruits. Make their meals multi-colored, comprising of different vegetables and fruits and little of soda and packaged food.
Consuming freshly-cooked food, preferably home-cooked, is recommended as this will be hygienic and nutritious for your little one, thus cut down the danger of gut infection. You can add milk products or products that are milk-based such as curd, to maintain good health and food rich in Vitamin D.
- Support the Emotional Wellbeing of Your Child – Being social beings is human nature. As working parents, you may be wondering how to tackle social distancing stress with your kids during this outbreak. Dalius encourages you to look for digital means to stay connected with friends, family, and dear ones through FaceTime, videos, texts, and phone calls. Kids need support from elders and friends, and laughter & smile can work wonders for their mental health.
If you are a new parent, then you need help. Set up video chats so that others can interact and see your baby. The role of emotional connection in the case of your children is essential. If you feel extreme anxiety or stress, consult with your physician or a pediatrician for counseling. When you can take good care of yourself, you can only look after your child at its best.
The bottom line is, for your kids, you should be the right role model by getting sufficient sleep, coping with stress, limiting screen time, being active daily, not overeating, and enjoying healthy foods. Keeping your child safe is your topmost priority, and more so during this crisis. So ensure that they remain safe and healthy.