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Coronavirus - Parenting In Quarantine

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Coronavirus - Parenting In Quarantine

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Staying at home and going out only when needed is a key factor in containing the pandemic. Learn about a few parenting tips to tackle the pandemic.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Suresh Kumar G D

Published At April 15, 2020
Reviewed AtJanuary 5, 2023

Introduction

With schools closed, parents working remotely, and physical distancing due to the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, family life has turned upside down around the world. Do not get us wrong, we are sure you all enjoyed the much-needed family time together, but let us face it, working and parenting antsy kids who are stuck at home is not easy. With no school, no playing with their friends, no cycling around the neighborhood, or going out with you, kids might find adapting to this new routine tough. And parents, we know how difficult it was to manage your professional and personal life without outside help.

During this difficult time and added pressure, it is normal to lose it more often with your child, and your patience will be pushed to the limits. But, shouting at your kids and punishing them will not be effective and will only raise your blood pressure and stress levels. If you teach them to deal with daily problems in a fun way, your child will listen and cooperate. We have added some playful tips and ways to make new routines that can help parents and caregivers manage this unique situation.

How Do Children React to Stress and Anxiety?

Contrary to what adults think, young children are highly affected by the present situation. Most children can identify when they are stressed or anxious, and this will reflect in their behavior. They are very sensitive to such changes. The common reactions in children include:

  1. Constant or frequent crying.

  2. Getting restless.

  3. Difficulty falling asleep.

  4. Waking up due to nightmares.

  5. Clinging to their parents.

  6. Afraid of being alone.

  7. Keep repeating the things they hear.

  8. May become very aggressive and angry.

  9. Some kids might act younger than they really are.

As kids are not very good at communicating with others, make sure you look for such changes and intervene at the right time.

What Can Be Done to Reduce a Child's Anxiety?

1. Take Out Time From Work for One-On-One Sessions:

You might be stressed and overwhelmed thinking about money, work, etc., but remember that this is also the best time to establish a better relationship with your children. Take out time, even 20 to 30 minutes a day, and play or talk or do whatever they like to do indoors, and make it free and fun for them. This gives them a sense of being loved and makes them feel that they are important.

Make them choose what they want to do with you. Or you can suggest something from the following list:

For Toddler:

  • Sing a song.

  • Copy their facial expressions.

  • Help them stack blocks.

  • Tell them a story.

For Children Below Ten Years of Age:

  • Read them a storybook.

  • Look through old photos.

  • Dance to their favorite songs.

  • Draw and paint with them.

  • Teach them how to clean their room or cook.

For Teenagers:

  • Talk to them about their hobbies.

  • Discuss things they like, such as sports, music, etc.

  • Ask them if they spoke to their friends and how they are.

  • Cook a meal together.

  • Enjoy family movie time.

  • Exercise together.

The only thing they need is your attention and love. Have fun together!

2. Stay Positive:

Most parents, when they are stressed or if their kids are giving them a hard time, simply shout at them and tell them to cut it out. This is not how it should be, we know it is hard to be positive during such situations, but children are more likely to listen to you if you give them positive instructions. Instead of telling them, “Stop making a mess,” tell them, “Please put your toys away.” And once they do it, make sure you praise them, as it will encourage them to do the right thing and make them feel that they are noticed and cared for.

Shouting will just make you all stressed and angry. Speak in a calm voice and always address them by their names.

It is important for teenagers to stay connected with their peers, so give them some space and time to chat and talk to them. Parents can arrange video chat for kids to connect with their grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins, so they get to know the extended family better. Avoid prolonged screen time like playing video games or watching TV for hours at a stretch. Try to interact more as a family. Have fun together!

3. Make a New Routine:

It is essential to make a new routine for your kids, to adjust to the new environment. This new routine should have a fixed time for different activities and free time. This makes kids feel secure and behave properly. Due to COVID-19, it might be best to make social distancing and hand washing part of their daily routine.

Social Distancing - Explain to your child why social distancing is necessary and how it will help in preventing the spread of infections.

Hand Hygiene - Let them sing their favorite song and ask them to sing it while they wash their hands. Teach them the proper way to wash their hands with soap and water. For children younger than eight years, it is better if you supervise their hand washing. Make it a habit to wash hands:

  1. Before and after eating food.

  2. After going to the toilet.

  3. After playing with their toys.

  4. And if their hands are visibly soiled.

You can make it fun by asking them to mark in a chart whenever they wash their hands, and ask them to touch their face less often. Give a star or some reward at the end of the day if they did everything right.

Kids learn from their parents, so they are more likely to follow these if they see you doing the same. So do not forget to wash your hands too!

4. Redirect Bad Behavior:

Most kids misbehave when they are bored, tired, hungry, or afraid. Having to spend the entire day at home will make them extra cranky. The best thing to do is identify what sets them off, so the next time, you can catch it early and redirect their attention. When you see them about to throw a tantrum, get up and ask them to play with you and do something fun.

5. Be Honest About the Virus:

If they have questions about what is happening worldwide, make them understand what all this is about. Tell them about the virus and how it spreads and affects people in a way they can understand. But do not scare them.

6. Manage Your Stress:

It is not always about your kid. Take out a few minutes every day to do yoga, meditation, or anything that can help de-stress you. Drink a cup of tea, talk to your friends, etc.

Understand That It Is Fine Not to Know All the Answers

Talk and understand your child, even if you do not have an answer to all their questions. You can tell them that you do not know, or you are working on it or you will find it out or something. You can also ask them to explain things to you, and they will feel proud and smart.

According to the WHO (World Health Organization), be as transparent as possible with your children about this pandemic. Here are some answers to questions they might have about the pandemic.

  • Why can not I go play with my friends downstairs?

    • For you and your friends to stay healthy and strong, we have to avoid playing with others. Instead, you can play with me.

  • Why are you wiping all the surfaces with wipes?

    • I am wiping them to keep them clean so you can play and roam around freely.

  • Why is everyone wearing a mask?

    • People who are sick or can get sick themselves will wear masks when they go out. Once they all feel better, they will stop wearing them.

  • Why can not I see daddy?

    • If the child’s parent is in quarantine, then you can tell that “Dad needs to be away for some days and will come back soon.”

  • Why can not I go to school?

    • The school is closed, and all your friends are home too. You can go to school when they reopen.

  • Should I wear a mask?

    • No, as you are home and mama is wiping all the surfaces clean, you do not have to wear a mask. Just keep washing your hands and avoid touching your face too much. But, when you go out you should wear a mask.

  • Will I get sick?

    • You might fall sick, and if you do, we will take care of you and you will feel fine very soon.

  • Why can not I kiss or hug grandma?

    • Your grandma loves you a lot. As she has a cold, she wants to keep you from catching it also. As soon as she feels better, the first thing she will do is hug and kiss you.

How to Get Everything Done at Home?

Let your kids help you with chores. It will teach them life skills and also keep them busy. Give them tasks according to their age. Make a chart with the things they need to do and stick it on the refrigerator.

At the end of each day, tell your child one or two fun or positive things that they did during that day. This will motivate them for the next day. Stay home, stay safe, and enjoy this time with your kids!

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

How to Deal with Parenting Frustration?

Dealing with parenting frustration can be challenging, but several strategies can help. First, it is important to practice self-care and prioritize self-reflection to understand the source of your frustration. Secondly, finding healthy coping mechanisms such as exercise, mindfulness, or hobbies can help release pent-up emotions. Additionally, seeking support from friends, family, or a therapist can provide a sounding board and help you develop a new perspective. It's also helpful to communicate openly and effectively with your partner if you have one and to practice patience and empathy with your children.

2.

Why Do Parents Get Angry With Toddlers?

It's common for parents to feel frustrated and angry with their toddlers, as this is a stage in development where children explore their independence and test limits. Some common triggers for anger include tantrums, resistance to following rules, and difficulties with sleep and eating. It's essential to recognize that your child's behavior is a normal development, not a reflection of your parenting skills. Additionally, stress, fatigue, and other factors outside of parenting can contribute to feelings of anger.

3.

How to Deal With Anger During Covid?

Dealing with anger during COVID-19 can be difficult, but there are ways to manage it. People should engage themselves in activities that bring joy and relaxation. Consider practicing mindfulness and deep breathing to help release tension. Connect with friends and loved ones virtually or through socially-distant activities. Seek professional help if needed. Find healthy ways to channel your anger, such as writing or physical activity. Remember that feeling frustrated and overwhelmed during these unprecedented times is okay, and take steps to prioritize your emotional well-being.

4.

How Can Relax a Parent?

 - To be a more relaxed parent:
 - Practice self-care
 - Set realistic expectations
 - Communicate openly
 - Focus on a growth mindset
 - Prioritize patience and empathy
 - Engage in mindfulness
 - Seek support from trusted sources.

5.

What Is the Effect of Mother Anger Occur on the Child?

An angry mother can have a significant impact on a child. Children are particularly sensitive to their parent's emotions and behavior, and an angry parent can create a negative and stressful environment for the child. Research has shown that prolonged exposure to anger and stress can affect a child's brain development, leading to emotional and behavioral problems. An angry mother may struggle to provide a supportive and nurturing environment, negatively impacting the child's self-esteem, sense of security, and overall well-being.

6.

How Can a Yell Affects a Child?

Yelling at a child can have negative impacts on their well-being and development. It can lead to feelings of fear, shame, and insecurity. Yelling can harm a child's self-esteem and lead to behavior problems. Exposure to yelling can also increase the likelihood of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Instead, parents should find alternative methods of discipline and communication that are calm, firm, and respectful to help children develop strong self-esteem, healthy relationships, and a sense of security.

7.

How to Become a Better Mom?

To be a better mom, prioritize self-care, practice patience and empathy, set clear and consistent boundaries, communicate openly with your child, lead by example, find a healthy work-life balance, and be flexible and adaptable. Most importantly, show love and affection to your child and be there for them through the good and tough times.

8.

Does Covid Relate to Behavior Problems?

The COVID-19 pandemic can significantly impact children's behavior and mental health. The sudden changes during the pandemic, such as school closures, social isolation, and financial stress, can lead to increased stress, anxiety, and behavioral problems in children. Children may also be exposed to increased violence, abuse, and neglect due to the strain on families during the pandemic.

9.

Can Covid Cause Trouble With Emotions?

Yes, the COVID-19 pandemic can have a significant impact on our emotions. The sudden changes brought on by the pandemic, such as social isolation, financial stress, and loss of loved ones, can lead to increased anxiety, stress, and depression. The uncertainty and fear surrounding the pandemic can also affect our mental health, leading to sadness, hopelessness, and frustration.

10.

Does Covid Make a Person Moody?

Yes, the COVID-19 pandemic can have an impact on our moods. The sudden changes brought on by the pandemic, such as social isolation, financial stress, and loss of loved ones, can lead to increased anxiety, stress, and depression, which can, in turn, affect our moods. The constant exposure to negative news and information about the pandemic can also increase anxiety and worry, contributing to mood swings.

11.

What Are the Ways to Prevent Overwhelmed with Kids?

To stop feeling overwhelmed as a parent, prioritize self-care, set realistic expectations, communicate with a partner or support network, establish routines, delegate tasks, take breaks, and seek professional help. Remember to be kind and recognize that sometimes feeling overwhelmed is normal. Taking care of oneself and seeking support can reduce stress and find balance in their role as a parent.

12.

How Does Mother Rage Look Like?

Mom's rage refers to the intense anger and frustration that mothers can experience from the stress of parenting. It can show as verbal outbursts, physical aggression, unreasonable demands, a short fuse, or constant irritability and frustration. This behavior is unhealthy for the parent or the children and can lead to long-term negative consequences for the family. If a mother struggles with mom rage, seeking help and support, such as therapy or support groups, is important to manage her emotions and find healthier coping strategies.

13.

What Is a Combative Mother?

A combative mother refers to a mother who frequently engages in confrontational, argumentative, or hostile behavior. This behavior can be directed toward her children, partner, or others. A combative mother may struggle to control her temper and be quick to react negatively or aggressively. This type of behavior can damage relationships and negatively affect the well-being of her children and family.

14.

What Is a Hostile Mother?

A hostile mother is a mother who exhibits aggressive or unfriendly behavior towards others, particularly her children. This behavior can take many forms, including verbal abuse, physical aggression, excessive criticism, and sarcasm. A hostile mother may be quick to anger, have a short fuse, and struggle to control her temper. This behavior can create a hostile and unpleasant environment for her children and others in the family, leading to negative emotional, psychological, and social outcomes.

15.

Can Yelling Cause Trauma to the Child?

Yes, parental yelling and other forms of verbal or physical abuse can cause trauma in children. Children repeatedly subjected to hostile or aggressive behavior can cause feelings of fear, anxiety, and insecurity. Over time, this can lead to the development of traumatic stress, which can negatively affect a child's mental and emotional well-being. Trauma can impact a child's ability to form healthy relationships, trust others, and feel secure in their environment.
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Dr. Suresh Kumar G D
Dr. Suresh Kumar G D

Pediatrics

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