ARTICLES: Managing Children During Lockdown
How to manage & Get the best for your Children during Lockdown & Emergency Periods?
Being confined to indoors, a sense of lack of freedom and movement can be especially challenging for children. They are usually bundles of high energy and have very high entropy. The purpose of schools, systems and routines is not just to learn but to teach this energy to flow in a rather constructive manner. However, the current lockdown forces children to be indoors for their own well-being and safety.
Any change needs management. And this applies most importantly to the children who may not be able to verbalise their frustration or confusion. It is difficult for them to identify feelings and even more to put them into words, for the lack of emotional vocabulary and prior experience.
Here are somethings to look out for, and hopefully a few ways to handle them as well:
1. Addiction to gadgets a real thing and for the lack of any other means to entertain oneself, the children may find themselves spending more time with mobiles, tablets and gaming consoles. It is definitely convenient for the parents as well, who may themselves be experiencing anxiety or trying to make sense of working from home or adjusting to more pressure on their time and resources.
The thing to understand loud and clear is that interpersonal relationships are hard work. They do not run on autopilot. However, the motivating fact is that the hard work on this front yields large rewards as well. Not only do you have the shot at bringing up a balanced individual but also of a cultivating great bond – the selfless love that children are capable of, is pure gold, an unmatched feeling. Interpersonal relationships do not offer the luxury of sense of control that a remote control or a one sided dominance that an internet or gaming device may offer. It’s a give and take mechanism, where the dynamics of reciprocity operate. You definitely don’t want your children to become controlling individuals who are unable to cope with adjustment required – working, living or interacting with other individuals will require it constantly. Schools may not teach children to get in touch with their feelings. Parents can and very effectively.
2. Children may not share your concern about the situation and not be as cautious as you want them to be. Why would they, they still are children and rightfully so their world can have supermen with superhuman powers and unicorns with rainbow manes!
However, part of management of these little minds involves sharing facts with them. In today’s world children are precocious and understand more things than one can believe they do. Assuming some good intelligence on their part is also respecting them. Of course, information needs to be given and awareness made in a language and words they understand. Keep it simple and share some drama-free factual news pieces with them. Also encourage them to think about ways in which they can help reasonably, staying indoors.
3. There could be crankiness and lethargy: children love the outdoors. Nature has a way to nourish and right now, times are difficult. If there are spaces as well, the weather may not be inclement; if the weather is good, outdoors may simply spread the contagion.
It is well understood that energy cannot be created or destroyed. It can only be transformed. For children, energy must be managed. In these conditions, the best you can do is to ensure that children drink enough water and exercise in some manner, whether it is dancing to some music or helping with chores or aerobics of any sort. The antsy feelings can quickly turn into anger, moodiness or frustration if it is not managed. One may not be able to go outdoors but reading a good book can come close too. For instance, Anne of the Green Gables is a fantastic read that does not fuel any consumerist desire but is simply beautiful in its descriptions and emotional appeal.
4. Sleep structure and eating habit become affected. Of course that one last game or the only five minute appeals may have you saying yes. But having a structure is of utmost importance for the untrained minds. Give them a routine to stick to, assign a small reward system to it and you will be one happy parent.
5. Sense of loneliness and disconnection - Allow the children phone conversations with their friends or the occasional video chats somehow. Any semblance of normalcy is good and helps them feel secure. The very idea of a shared experience, yet continued presence restores sense of security not only in grown-ups but in children as well.
6. Defiance and aggression. You find yourself getting angry and saying No more often that you want to? Check into your own feelings also. Many times anxious adults may cause their feelings and worries to spill over and cause more problems. It is not an easy time for grown-ups as well. There is fear and uncertainty. Children learn more from a parent’s behaviour than their words or instructions only! Give yourself a breather, take stock of your own reality and then talk to children how to work together without unnecessary aggression or resentment.
Abhijita Kulshrestha, is a Senior Director, Astrologer, Life Coach & Gemologist with Gemstoneuniverse. She is a PGA and GIA certified Astro-Gemologist with additional qualifications from prestigious institutions like SSEF .Abhijita is essentially a communication professional and holds a Master’s degree in Mass Communication and Journalism besides being a NLP practitioner. Prior to her soul-level engagement with the world of Vedic astrology, gemstones and association with Gemstoneuniverse, she had a long stint in 'word smithy’! She’s had professional stints at Mudra institute of Communications, Ahmedabad (MICA); RK Swamy BBDO, Bangalore and Times of India. She is a published author at Huffingtonpost and Entrepreneur and has been featured in several international publications of repute. More.
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