The COVID-19 pandemic is already a challenge in itself for adults: concerns about health and the economy have occupied a large part of their daily lives. However, you also need to understand how to deal with children in quarantine.
With most of the schools closed, the little ones are at home with their families and also need to face the challenges of this period of social isolation. While some parents still need to work outside the home and have no one to leave their children with, others need to reconcile the home office routine with the children’s needs.
In this scenario of chaos and uncertainty, it is up to the parents or guardians to adapt the children’s daily lives according to the new reality. However, we cannot stop there, because depending on the age it is also important to talk about what is happening in Brazil and in the world.
After all, with the internet at our disposal, we cannot think that children are shielded from all information.
Social isolation generates many questions, leaves people bewildered and confused. It is part, but it is possible to alleviate the situation and take care of children in a healthy way at this time. In this article, you can check out some tips to learn how to deal with children in quarantine.
Read on and let’s go together to overcome the obstacles of this atypical moment that the whole world is living!
How to deal with children in quarantine?
Fear, anguish and anxiety are the words of the day. Everyone is concerned about a relative in the risk group or the country’s economic situation. We are all together in the same boat, but in the face of so many uncertainties, we cannot forget the little ones.
Many parents are confused and do not know how to deal with children in quarantine. It is clear that each family environment has its peculiarities, but there are some general recommendations, especially with regard to the approach to the subject and the children’s routine.
How to talk about COVID-19 with children?
To make it easier, let’s break this guide down into stages. That way, you have more clarity on what is the recommended step-by-step approach to address the issue with children.
- Prepare yourself emotionally
Many people are experiencing peaks of anxiety and stress due to the whole context of the coronavirus pandemic. So that the approach to the subject is not traumatic for the child, make sure that you are able to talk about the topic without crying or showing too much despair.
The child must feel confident in his words and not be more terrified. To prepare yourself emotionally, meditate and do breathing techniques that will calm your mind and lower anxiety levels.
- Structure the script of the conversation
Another important tip is not to start the conversation without knowing what to say, because that way you can end up going over disconnected information and transmitting anxiety. If possible, before starting the conversation, organize the ideas in your head to speak only what is necessary for the child.
- Have an open and frank conversation
Know that having an open, frank and supportive conversation with your children is the best way to reduce anxiety levels and have a more pleasant day to day. First of all, it is worth considering your child’s age, because if you are too young to understand the context it may not be worth going into details about the topic. In such cases, the ideal is just to encourage good hygiene habits.
For older children, the tip is to introduce the subject in such a way that there is an opening for the child to expose what he already knows and his doubts. Then, calm your anxieties and ensure that it is normal to feel fear and anxiety, but that it takes courage to face the situation with optimism . The child must feel that he can seek comfort from family members when he needs it.
It is important to be honest, that is, to speak the truth, but in a way that the child understands. If necessary, use stories or drawings to help explain and make it more didactic.
If your region is experiencing an outbreak, reinforce to the children that most cases of coronavirus are mild and that many people are working daily to contain the transmission and keep everyone safe.
Consider that if the child becomes ill you should explain that he will need to be in isolation at home or in the hospital, as it is safer for everyone’s health. Reassure your concerns, reinforcing that it is time to take care of each other and that together we will all leave the situation in good health.
- Filter the information
Children do not need to be exposed to absolutely everything that is happening in the world, so filter only the essential information.
Keep in mind a super important point: spare children from the excess of information provided by the media, especially on television, with dramatic expressions, unnecessary controversies and content that is far from their understanding.
Translate what is important, do not transmit a sense of panic and simplify. Details of death numbers and family dramas generate unnecessary and counterproductive fears.
- Provide guidance on prevention
At this point, it is not enough to just talk about everything bad that is happening in the world and forget to guide the child regarding the prevention of the disease.
In the case of coronavirus, the most appropriate is to talk about basic hygiene measures, such as hand washing and the proper ways to sneeze or cough. Use videos from the internet or some other resource that can help at this time so that the explanation is clear.
- Assess how the child absorbed the information
At the end of the conversation, assess whether the child was very anxious about the subject and always reinforce the importance of care, solidarity and unity at this time, making yourself available to talk about the topic as many times as necessary. Finally, try to bring lightness to a theme that is already very heavy.
How to entertain children during quarantine?
When it comes to how to deal with children in quarantine, many parents are disheveled due to the suspension of classes as a measure to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
As much as some schools are sending activities to be carried out at home, there is no denying that the routine has completely changed.
The contexts are very diverse. Some families live in very small residences, with only two rooms, which ends up affecting the coexistence.
In other cases, mothers need to work remotely and are unable to reconcile personal and professional tasks. Finally, there are also parents who still need to go out to work and have no one to leave the little ones with.
And don’t even think about leaving children with grandparents, because as the older ones are at risk, it is not recommended that they have a lot of contact with other people, especially children, who can sometimes end up being a little careless.
They, in turn, are used to going to classes, playing and doing school activities, so in a situation where they are forced to stay at home all the time they may end up with accumulated energy.
Parents need, more than ever, to be attentive to their children’s needs so that the quarantine period is not completely lost. It is necessary to assist the little ones both in the execution of school tasks and in the emotional part.
Check out some tips on how to deal with children in quarantine through a new routine full of activities!
- Encourage learning through play
Growing and developing children should play, as they learn a lot this way. In addition to ready-made toys, stimulate creativity through more dynamic activities, such as planting a flower, making a recipe or playing with a board game.
It is always possible to learn something new through games like these that escape from cell phone screens and television. The child explores senses such as touch and smell, in addition to having a lot of fun and learning new things.
- Stimulate the imagination
Since you can’t go to the cinema, theater or walk in the park, how about stimulating your imagination at home?
Children love to make up stories and the quarantine is ideal for this type of play. Take advantage of your child’s fantasy mind to stimulate his thoughts and help him disconnect from reality in a few moments.
One tip, for example, is to encourage you to create stories and characters at times when you need to do something or work. When you have time, participate in the stories together with him, but if you need him to do it alone, just encourage him and then ask him to tell you all of his adventures.
Another way to stimulate the imagination is through storytelling. Read a book to the child and then encourage him to play and recreate the universe of the book.
- Make him play alone
At times the child will need to be alone (unless he has a sibling, for example). Therefore, it is important to offer toys that do not require the company of others. Some examples are puzzles and Lego games, which require time and dedication.
If the child is very young, this does not mean that he should be left unattended during these activities. While you are doing another task, place it beside you to play alone and promise that you will spend time together later.
- Stimulate creativity
So that the little ones do not stay glazed all day on television, video games or cell phones, encourage drawing, painting or the use of clay. Manual activities are very welcome!
When children are bored it will not be a doll or stroller that will provide entertainment. They seek new and different games. Therefore, allow them to use other objects in the house to play: cardboard boxes, kitchen gloves, or anything else that can stimulate creativity.
In some moments the children may end up creating the games themselves, but if you notice that they are having difficulties, suggest something new and innovate
Create a routine
One of the most important points when it comes to how to deal with children in quarantine is, in addition to establishing your routine, creating one for children as well.
This way you will introduce in their heads that each activity should happen in a sequence of times. This will help to organize your day and keep your child busy when you need to focus on work or some other activity.
Make your children understand that quarantine is not a vacation and that in addition to the school activities that must be done on time, there will also be some rules and schedules to be followed.
To take care of children, take care of their mental health
We talk a lot about the care that one should have with others, more specifically with children, but did you know that to take good care of others first you need to be up to date with your mental health ?
Quarantine has been a challenge for many families and adaptation is not as simple as it seems. To deal with all the changes without freaking out you need to take some time to take care of yourself.
This means having a time on your calendar to exercise , meditate , have fun , connect with family and friends through video conferences and, of course, take care of emotions.
If you feel that your anxiety and stress levels are too high, impairing your well-being and living with the family, seek a psychologist to help you at this time.
With social isolation, many professionals are serving virtually , which makes session prices even more affordable.