HT Chandigarh Readers’ Take: In a lockdown, set joy, creativity free in children
MEDITATION, YOGA CAN HELP
The Covid-19 outbreak has disrupted people’s lives around the globe. Parents should try helping their children sail through this dark phase peacefully and calmly. It is essential for parents to remain patient and look after the needs of their children. This will result in strengthening of their relationship and also enable them to work together as a team. Parents should involve children in various household activities instead of criticising them for not doing anything. It is important and advisable for parents to attentively listen to their children and talk to them about things in a very constructive and optimistic manner. Make it a point to never overreact to anything annoying that the child might say or do. Try and build the child’s confidence by rewarding them for little achievements. However, make sure it’s not a bribe . Meditation and yogic exercises will also help. A parent is the only force that can help a child develop a positive attitude towards life.
REFRESH OLD MEMORIES, TELL THEM STORIES
As parents we need to understand that the present scenario is not easy for children to deal with as they are stuck indoors with limited physical activity, outings and contact with friends. So, first of all be, empathetic. Their boundless energy can be channelised by adding a variety of activities in their daily schedule. Apart from online school, hobby or tuition classes they can be encouraged to do age- appropriate household chores like watering plants, filling up water bottles and so on. A physical workout time can be set. Revisit old memories by going over old photographs and videos and share the stories associated with them. This may be a good time to nurture the parent-child bond as there are limited outside influences and they are more receptive. With positivity and patience we can sail through these times smoothly.
Roopali Virk, Mohali
SIMPLE ACTIVITIES HAVE MOST VALUE
Children, who are compelled to remain at home are the most affected during the lockdown. The rhythm and routine of going to school, meeting friends,the bonhomie of chirping children in the school bus has a thrill of its own. At this crucial time, parents have to handle them with care, patience,love and empathy. They must retain their cool. They should plan simple/interesting activities at home,viz locating places/countries on the atlas and look up words in the dictionary. The winners should be given small gifts. There could be fun games like imitating a favourite aunt or family member. Seek their help in laying the table or heating the dishes in the microwave and ask them for suggestions in resolving family matters.
Usha Verma, Chandigarh
TREAT CHILDREN LIKE FRIENDS
Parents should first talk to children about safety and hygiene to combat Covid-19. They should be informed about how the disease spreads but assured that it can be controlled adequate precautions are taken. Youngsters should be kept busy with indoor games. They should lend a helping hand in sorting out household chores. Only a limited time should be allocated to them to watch TV or work on the computer. Parents should treat children like friends, discuss the news and current events with them and tell them stories.
Sumesh Kumar Badhwar, Mohali
ENGAGE THEM WITH READING, WRITING AND ART
Primary school children are forgetting the art of writing. Parents need to sit with them and engage them in reading and writing besides teaching them drawing and painting. Ten to 15 -year-old children have learned enough to build on. They can also be involved in mental games like scrabble, chess, crosswords and Sudoku besides watching Discovery Channel for learning more about the world after study hours. However, children who have picked up unhealthy habits need to be handled with love, understanding and affection and treated by an expert counsellor. Try to involve them in doing household chores, besides cooking new dishes. Ensure all the family members eat together and encourage them to wash the dishes and cutlery they have used. This will not just ease the burden of household work on parents, but will also make the children self-dependent.
Gurdev Singh, Mohali
GIVE CHILDREN ADEQUATE MENTAL SPACE
In this hour of crisis, it is imperative that the parents give adequate mental space to their children instead of nagging them all the time. Help children accept the current vicissitudes of life. Simultaneously, it is essential that the teachers, too, do not overburden the students with homework. Instead, they must aid the children in keeping up with their respective syllabus. Only with sustained support and guidance of parents and teachers can our children evolve as mentally stable, brighter and progressive beings in the longer run. No tension and collective action ought to be the norm of the day.
SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH THEM
Parents should set out a routine for their children and not allow them to go out when the Covid-19 infection is spreading. They should give the children some quality time and play with them and also ensure they remain safe.
PARENTS AND CHILDREN CAN EXPLORE NEW INTERESTS TOGETHER
Parents need to view the lockdown time positively - a godsend opportunity to spend quality time with the children, cooking and eating, playing and exercising and reading and watching TV together, which would not have been possible in normal times. Both children and parents can help each other explore new skills such as singing, learning musical instruments, painting, baking and gardening. Parents with teenage children should ensure that in addition to requesting them to do day-to-day chores, this is the apt time for taking up creative projects like reading, writing, flower arrangements, a plethora of hobbies that every heart wants to take up at some point of time. Intellectual and philosophical discussions on human values across the dining table should also be initiated in these times when people are experiencing mental trauma because of the spread of coronavirus. Children should also be made aware of the importance of social responsibility. That rich and poor classes can happily coexist in society if assets are shared and the lives of the poor are made easy.
Premila Verma, Panchkula
UNDERSTAND CHILD’S PSYCHOLOGY AND ACT ACCORDINGLY
Parents need to spend quality time with their children. They should narrate stories with moral teachings, share positive experiences and inculcate good values in the children. It’s important to understand the child’s psychology and act accordingly, but with love, affection and care. This is the good time to utilise and channelise their energies effectively. They should be kept busy pursuing their interests and kept away from social media and electronic gadgets.
Abhilasha Gupta, Mohali
PRAYERS, RELIGIOUS SERMONS HELP
The lockdown has turned to be a blessing in disguise for many parents , as they are able to spend more time with their children now. Most of the behavioural problems in youngsters stem from loneliness and upbringing in crèches or day care centres during the formative years of childhood . Parents should utilise the lockdown period in tending to the needs of the children according to their aptitude and preferences. From morning prayers, religious sermons to storytelling, games, puzzle solving, poetry and jokes, try to keep your children engaged all the time. Yogic exercises should be a part of the child’s daily routine. Breathing exercises and meditation can treat mental illness to some extent.
Anil Vinayak, Amritsar
MOTIVATIONAL TALKS, BOOKS SHOULD BE MADE A PART OF THEIR LIVES
Parents should ensure they lead by example and stay positive at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has weakened the economic structure of the world and affected the mental health of many people. All of us should stay connected with each other to boost our morale. Besides the education of children, parents should make sure they continue with indoor activities such as yoga and gym and help their parents with household chores. Motivational talks (let them watch YouTube, videos) and books should also be made a part of their lives.
Vikas Sharma, Ludhiana