How to talk with your child about Coronavirus and the lockdown
Communicating mindfully with your child about Covid-19 and the lockdown is important. Kavita Panyam, a psychologist and a coach, shares how to communicate with your child and ward off their fears.
Keep calm and stay away from the news
If a parent is anxious and and keeping tabs every minute about the virus and the pandemic, then it will be difficult to teach your child to remain calm. Practice what you preach.
Don’t panic and keep to your self
We all know that the pandemic is on and we are all in the same boat. However, mentally you can disconnect from the chaos. A person should take care of themselves and the family, and not get bogged down by the sorry state of affairs. A lockdown calls for people to keep to themselves, and you need it to show it your children how to do that.
Live your life normally – just indoors
Show your child how to be happy and productively occupied indoors. If you think you are at home helpless because of the pandemic, it’s not going to help and will cause stress you out. If you stay calm, your child will follow the same and if you are disturbed, your energy will influence them too.
Inculcate hobbies in children
Panyam’s son once worriedly told her about masses being hit by the virus in North Telangana. She immediately corrected him by asking him not to worry about it and stress himself. Instead, she suggested that he use this time productively and creatively by practicing hobbies like reading, singing etc. Such a calm and constructive approach will help your child too.
Explaining about the virus
Explain to them what a virus is and how they can stay safe. Use this opportunity to teach them about hygiene, cleanliness, and safety practices. Without causing fear, explain to them that doctors and researchers are working towards finding a vaccine, and till then staying safe is what we all need to do.
Allocate some space for recreation
A separate space should be reserved only for recreation. Family members should visit this space for at least half an hour, whenever they want to feel peaceful. Stock this space with recreational activities like board games, colouring sheets and colours, and games. If we use the entire house for games and fun, the energy will become stagnant, and we would feel the urge to go out.
Do not talk about adversity or thank it
One should never thank any adversity. When you do that, you attract more of it and you end up teaching incorrect things to your child too. People have been thanking the lockdown for the time they now have to prepare elaborate meals at home. Little do people realise that tomorrow the area may become a red zone, since your energy attracted more cases.
Parents should be the only point of contact
The point of contact for any discussion with children about the virus should be the parents only. If someone has spoken about the virus to your child and told them things you don’t wish them to, you need to talk to your child scientifically with a calm mind and alleviate their fears.
Mental distancing along with social distancing is important. Do not indulge in mob behaviour, even if a closed one is living in fear and keeping tabs on news and number of cases. Just maintain a distance during the lockdown and keep your children away from negativity too.
We hope our readers stay happy, healthy and practice mental distancing from negativity. CLICK HERE if you would like to connect with one of our experts.