The most crushing thing about Covid-19 is that it is an unknown, unseen threat.(Unsplash)
The most crushing thing about Covid-19 is that it is an unknown, unseen threat.(Unsplash)

Coronavirus outbreak: 9 crucial tips for parents and kids during the lockdown

WhatsApp forwards are flying around about how eating garlic, or bathing in hot water will keep us safe. Research has substantiated none of these . New information on the virus is coming out every day.
By Rhea R. Dubey | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON APR 08, 2020 06:13 PM IST

The most crushing thing about Covid-19 is that it is an unknown, unseen threat. In the animal kingdom, when a predator threatens an animal, their body goes into high alert, their metabolism shuts down and the heart rate goes up. All the body’s energies are directed into the muscles, poised to act. The fight, flight, or freeze state of existence. This is exactly what is happening to most of us and is now experienced as anxiety.

WhatsApp forwards are flying around about how eating garlic, or bathing in hot water will keep us safe. Research has substantiated none of these . New information on the virus is coming out every day. I find myself often wondering, in the words of Freddy Mercury, “is this the real life? Or is this just fantasy? Caught in a landslide. No escape from reality.”

There is no escape, but we have evolved beyond superstition, we are sentient beings with the ability to get to know the enemy and ultimately defeat it slowly. In the meantime, we have had to manage many anxieties. As counsellors in a school, we are dealing not just with our own mental health at this time, but that of the staff as well. We are also supporting the students we work with (that are being able to find the privacy and space to speak to us) and the parents that are reaching out, wondering how to manage themselves and their children at this precarious point in human history. Here are some of the recommendations:

Ways to deal with parental anxiety

● Find time and space for yourself! Between managing the house, the children, and the fears that come with being a parent, the self tends to get neglected. Carve out an hour a day to do something entirely for yourself. Be creative, challenge yourself, or just relax. Perhaps a puzzle or a book, or drawing, painting, knitting, whatever helps you stay in touch with yourself.

● Carve out time for yourselves as a couple. When one is being bombarded constantly with unforeseen challenges, it’s important to take solace and comfort in each other, to support and encourage each other, to feed on each other’s strengths and cover for our weaknesses. Discuss challenges and fears openly, cook together, maybe share a drink or an episode of a TV show at the end of the day!

● Don’t worry too much about keeping your children engaged. As most classes are being conducted online, chances are they aren’t too bored. Even if they are, that’s okay. Boredom can allow for creativity! The one thing to watch out for, however, is an overreliance on screens and the virtual world at a time like this. Longer hours of screen time have been linked to anxiety, stress, inability to focus, and insomnia. Instituting free time away from screens, even for teenagers, will encourage the ability to just be with oneself, a very useful skill to have.

● Make sure that news is only consumed in blocks and not throughout the day. An hour in the morning and, if you’re so inclined, in the evening - but that’s it. Things are scary enough without doomsday inputs round the clock.

● Designate spaces in the home for different activities. Work in one area, relax in another. It’s important for the mind to be able to separate work from leisure. The problem with working from home is that boundaries blur and things spill over in frustrating ways. Try to get your work done when your children are ‘in class’. Switch off from your work in the evening, as far as possible.

Ways to help children deal with anxieties

● Be aware of your own anxiety when discussing the virus with your children. They need facts but they also need to be reassured that things will be okay and that they are safe as long as prescribed guidelines are followed. This is a scary time and that needs to be acknowledged, but it doesn’t have to take over our minds. If done right, your children will learn from your example, how to function during crises!

● Provide opportunities for teenagers to exercise independence. Give them chores around the house, involve them in discussions regarding decisions that have to be made for the daily running of the home. Don’t let them feel helpless and without purpose!

Managing the family as a whole

● Encourage exercise - maybe do it together! No one is getting the amount of exercise they need trapped at home. Yoga/stretches in the morning and cardio/strength in the evening should be a good start. There are innumerable options available on YouTube for home workouts.

● Focus on the silver linings. Time together as a family is not easily available in our fast-paced lives. Try to savour the opportunity for quality time. Tell your children stories, tell them about your life and experiences, about their grandparents, about the country. Debate topical issues. Play board games, now is the time to really draw value from those underrated pastimes!

Stay together, stay safe, and stay sane! We will get through this - never in history have we been better equipped to do so.

The author is a Senior School Counsellor at Shiv Nadar School, Gurugram

Follow more stories on Facebook and Twitter

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
Armaan Jain says that even when he made his debut as a leading man in a movie called Lekar Hum Deewana Dil in 2014, his passion for food was a notch higher than his interest in films; Make-up: Shibu Khan; Hair: BBlunt; Wardrobe:Anushka Khanna (Rohan Shrestha)
Armaan Jain says that even when he made his debut as a leading man in a movie called Lekar Hum Deewana Dil in 2014, his passion for food was a notch higher than his interest in films; Make-up: Shibu Khan; Hair: BBlunt; Wardrobe:Anushka Khanna (Rohan Shrestha)

HT Brunch Cover Story: The Kapoor family’s best-kept food secrets!

PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:40 PM IST
Raj Kapoor’s grandson, Armaan Jain, 30, shows how the love for food runs as strong in India’s premier film family as the love for films
Close
Prateik Babbar being his sporty self while posing for a picture exclusively for this HT Brunch column
Prateik Babbar being his sporty self while posing for a picture exclusively for this HT Brunch column

“I slept like a bear in hibernation during lockdown,” says Prateik Babbar

PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:14 PM IST
The actor confesses he’s a guy version of Monica Geller from Friends and is still crushing on Karisma Kapoor, in an intimate chat with HT Brunch
Close
Instead of High Intensity Interval Training, do a few stretches and some strength exercise like a few push-ups or air squats every one-two hours (Shutterstock)
Instead of High Intensity Interval Training, do a few stretches and some strength exercise like a few push-ups or air squats every one-two hours (Shutterstock)

Fit and fine by Kamal Singh CSCS: Move over high intensity workout

By Kamal Singh CSCS
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:14 PM IST
Low-intensity exercise throughout the day will keep you physically and mentally fit, especially if you don’t have access to your gym or park
Close
Rohena Gera’s latest movie Sir has received rave reviews in India and abroad
Rohena Gera’s latest movie Sir has received rave reviews in India and abroad

Maid for each other

By Shunali Khullar Shroff
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:14 PM IST
Rohena Gera’s new film shows a wealthy homeowner falling in love with his domestic help. How did the writer-director do away with Bollywood’s rich-poor clichés and address this with realism and sensitivity?
Close
In India, the only Western condiment we were really familiar with for decades was ketchup
In India, the only Western condiment we were really familiar with for decades was ketchup

Rude Food by Vir Sanghvi: It’s time to ketchup!

PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:13 PM IST
From chutney to mustard to Sriracha, it’s the condiments that add a kick to your food on a regular basis
Close
Ricky Pond’s Bollywood numbers like O Betaji have garnered over 500K likes
Ricky Pond’s Bollywood numbers like O Betaji have garnered over 500K likes

Social Media Star of the Week: Ricky Pond

By Karishma Kuenzang
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:12 PM IST
Meet the American dad in his 40s, who has become a rage amongst Indians worldwide for his Bollywood dance Reels
Close
Kamna Chhibber is a Clinical Psychologist and Head, Mental Health for the Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences at Fortis Healthcare
Kamna Chhibber is a Clinical Psychologist and Head, Mental Health for the Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences at Fortis Healthcare

HT Brunch Game Show: Which personality type lived through the pandemic better?

By Shruti Nair
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:12 PM IST
The introvert, extrovert or ambivert? Three different personality types talk about productively spending time during the pandemic
Close
Leslee Lewis with his first electric guitar, he brought from Singapore, which was shaped like a gun
Leslee Lewis with his first electric guitar, he brought from Singapore, which was shaped like a gun

“At 22, I had left home to make it on my own,” says musician Leslee Lewis

By Shruti Nair
UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:11 PM IST
The musician talks about earning 1,700 per month, marrying is girlfriend and making it on his own in the industry
Close
Sex and the City’s new season out next year will not star Samantha Jones
Sex and the City’s new season out next year will not star Samantha Jones

No sex without Samantha!

By Moksha Hegde and Reeti Kohli
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:11 PM IST
Two fans argue the elimination of Sex & the City’s most progressive character in the upcoming revival show
Close
What really grabs your attention are new headlights capped by a striking LED strip that lift the looks of the car
What really grabs your attention are new headlights capped by a striking LED strip that lift the looks of the car

Sunday Drive by Hormazd Sorabjee: The comeback car

PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:10 PM IST
Audi’s A4 marks the start of an onslaught of new models from the German carmaker, which has been starved of models for the past year
Close
The Olympian exudes an unattainable coolth with perfect poise and a worn-out T-shirt, or none, if you’re Milind Soman!  (Parth Garg)
The Olympian exudes an unattainable coolth with perfect poise and a worn-out T-shirt, or none, if you’re Milind Soman!  (Parth Garg)

Humour: The five kinds of runners

By Rehana Munir
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:09 PM IST
From form snobs to statistic addicts, the streets are just packed with all types of runners come morning or evening
Close
Bridgerton, the new series on Netflix, is set in Regency London and based on a series of novels by Julia Quinn (Aparna Ram)
Bridgerton, the new series on Netflix, is set in Regency London and based on a series of novels by Julia Quinn (Aparna Ram)

Spectator by Seema Goswami: Facts about fiction

By Seema Goswami
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:08 PM IST
Many may try, but only some writers can actually bring a world alive in their books. Especially when it comes to regency romances
Close
Sohrab gives tips on how to lose weight efficiently and how making the muscles around your knees stronger can help
Sohrab gives tips on how to lose weight efficiently and how making the muscles around your knees stronger can help

Sohrab Khushrushahi: Of planning your weight loss diet and strengthening your knees

By Sohrab Khushrushahi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:07 PM IST
Get back on track with a weight loss plan that focuses on your diet and how you can work on making your knees stronger
Close
Ranveer Allahbadia gives tips on social media etiquette you should follow
Ranveer Allahbadia gives tips on social media etiquette you should follow

Ranveer Allahbadia: Does posting selfies make you get taken less seriously at work? And… should you follow your boss?

By Ranveer Allahbadia
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:07 PM IST
Is it okay for a doctor or teacher to post frivolous on their social media handles? And should you send a request to follow your new boss if their account is private?
Close
Here’s how you can flaunt the lungi to social events
Here’s how you can flaunt the lungi to social events

Rahul Khanna: Where can you wear the lungi to?

By Rahul Khanna
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:06 PM IST
You can now flaunt this garment beyond South Indian weddings to make a style statement according to the style icon
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP