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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 are key factors 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 AtApril 17, 2024

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 worldwide. Take it right, and ensure that all enjoy the much-needed family time together, but working and parenting kids stuck at home takes work. With no school, no playing with their friends, no cycling around the neighborhood, or no going out, kids might find adapting to this new routine tough, and parents know how difficult it is to manage their professional and personal lives without outside help.

During this difficult time and with added pressure, it is normal to lose patience with the child more often, and patience will be pushed to the limits. But shouting at the kids and punishing them will not be effective and will only raise blood pressure and stress levels. Teach them to deal with daily problems in a fun way, and the child will listen and cooperate. This article has some playful tips and ways to make new routines to help parents and caregivers manage this 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 their parents are stressed or anxious, and this will reflect in their behavior. They are very sensitive to such changes. The common reactions in children include:

  • Constant or frequent crying.

  • Getting restless.

  • Difficulty falling asleep.

  • Waking up due to nightmares.

  • Clinging to their parents.

  • Afraid of being alone.

  • Keep repeating the things they hear.

  • May become very aggressive and angry.

  • Some kids might act younger than they are.

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

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

1. Take Time From Work for One-On-One Sessions: One 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 the children. Take out time, even 20 to 30 minutes a day, and play or talk or do whatever they like indoors, making it free and fun for them. This gives them a sense of being loved and makes them feel important.

Make them choose what they want to do or 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 a family movie time.

  • Exercise together.

  • The only things that they need are attention and love.

2. Stay Positive: When stressed or if the kids are having a hard time, most parents shout at them and tell them to cut it out. This is not how it should be; it is hard to be positive during such situations, but children are likelier to listen when given positive instructions. Instead of telling them, “Stop making a mess,” tell them, “Please keep the toys away.” And once they do it, praise them, as it will encourage them to do the right thing and make them feel they are noticed and cared for. Shouting will just create stress and anger. Speak in a calm voice and always address them by their names.

Teenagers need to stay connected with their peers, so give them some space and time to chat and talk to them. Parents can arrange video chats for kids to connect with their grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins so they can get to know their extended family better. Avoid prolonged screen time, such as 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 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.

4. Social Distancing: Explain to the child why social distancing is necessary and how it will help prevent the spread of infections.

5. 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. Children younger than eight should supervise their hand washing. Make it a habit to wash one’s hands:

  • Before and after eating food.

  • After going to the toilet.

  • After playing with their toys.

  • And if their hands are visibly soiled.

  • Ask them to mark in a chart whenever they wash their hands and ask them to touch their faces less often. Give a star or some reward if they did everything right. Kids learn from their parents, so they are more likely to follow these rules if they see their parents doing the same. So washing hands is a must.

6. Redirect Bad Behavior: Most kids misbehave when bored, tired, hungry, or afraid. Spending 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, one can catch it early and redirect their attention. When one sees them about to throw a tantrum, get up and ask them to play and do something fun.

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

8. Manage the Stress: It is not always about the kid. Take a few minutes daily to do yoga, meditation, or anything else to help de-stress. Drink a cup of tea, chat with friends, etc.

9. Understand That It Is Fine Not to Know All the Answers: Talk and understand what the child needs, even if their questions are not answerable. Explain that things take time to learn and understand; they will feel proud and smart. According to the WHO (World Health Organization), be transparent with the children about this pandemic as possible.

How to Get Everything Done at Home?

Let the kids help with chores. It will teach them life skills and also keep them busy. Give them tasks according to their age. Make a chart with what they must do and stick it on the refrigerator. At the end of each day, tell the child one or two fun or positive things they did. This will motivate them for the next day. Stay home, stay safe, and enjoy this time with the kids!

Conclusion:

People may feel even more threatened by the pandemic's changing character. One can feel more secure by keeping relatives informed on safety-related information and being current on it. Consider taking controllable measures, including washing hands and physically separating from the person. Every parent must laugh, read, and play together with kids. As they get older, record their most memorable experiences in writing, including the ones that just make one smile, and snap lots of photos of them. Consider that the little things were the ones that mattered the most.

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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