This time is not doubt a trying time for everyone, children inclusive. Children are dealing with a lot more than they can handle and as parents, you should be ready to encourage and reassure them. Your child’s mental health should be a priority at this time. As parents, you have to listen and have empathy. It’s tough on children too.
For children, their normal routines have been turned upside down and they are anxious. Do not dismiss their concerns even if they may seem simple to you; that may just be their own way of expressing their frustrations. Keep an optimistic mindset and gear your children towards doing the same. Now is a time to check in on your child’s mental health more frequently than you did before.
Below are 5 ways you can improve your child’s mental health at this time.
Listen to your children
At this point, children are expressing their pains and frustrations in so many ways that parents may not be familiar with. The pandemic is new for us all and everyone is just trying to come up with their own coping mechanisms. Instead of dismissing your child when they throw tantrums and cry unusually, try to listen to them and understand what they are trying to say with such acts. Their mental health is important. Listening and sharing in your children’s pains makes them feel you care for them and helps them know that they are not alone in this.
Make your home a safe haven
Children are stuck at home with the lock-down persisting and this is very unusual for them. There are no play dates to attend, no fun places to visit and no friends coming over. This summer will no doubt be a different one for children. Try to make your home a safe haven for the children where they can feel safe and also have fun. Play with them regularly, cook together on weekends and pray together as a family. This will help keep your child mentally healthy and active.
Everyone could use a little more kindness and love at this time; children especially. Avoid snapping at your children or transferring aggression. Children will read meaning to whatever behavior you portray towards them and this will in turn affect their mental health state. Show as much kindness as you can to your children during this time. Remember that they too are going through a lot.
Spend quality time
When at home with your children, ensure to spend quality time interacting with them. Get off your phone for a while and enjoy their company. Join them in playing their favourite video games as well as outdoor yard games. Go bike riding with them. Have a weekend picnic. Participate in activities that will take their minds off the current world situation and help them feel relaxed. This will also help you relax as a parent.
Be their confidant
Be your child’s best friend during this time of the coronavirus pandemic. Be available to talk with them and also listen to their concerns. Do not put them away when they come to you with their troubles and complains, try to comfort them and reassure them that this will all be over soon.
Your child’s mental health is highly important. It is even more important at this time because children are going through so much more than they are used to. Try to be more available for them and help them build an optimistic mindset.
Enjoy the weekend!