There’s no denying the impact of the pandemic on children worldwide. Sure, kids are less likely to develop the COVID-19 infection even if they acquire the novel coronavirus. However, they can be psychologically vulnerable due to the pandemic restrictions.
Think of children who have been out of the classroom and gotten isolated at home. Consider the lack of social interaction, too much digital consumption, and future uncertainties. They may become overwhelmingly stressed and psychologically distressed. A few others may end up having anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation.
As a parent, you must do what it takes to protect your children. While the novel coronavirus is here to stay, continue to promote their mental health. Your ultimate goal is to foster their overall health and wellness in the new normal.
That said, here’s how to foster your children’s mental health during this pandemic:
1. Educate Them About the COVID-19 Crisis
It’s been almost two years since the COVID-19 crisis first broke out. By now, you must have already oriented your kids about this crisis and its implications globally and personally. However, you should continuously update them about what’s happening worldwide. For instance, inform them about the need for COVID-19 vaccination. Even children below twelve and above four years old can now get vaccinated. In the end, education is key to helping your kids cope with the pandemic.
2. Help Them Acknowledge the Situation and Process Their Emotions
It’s one thing to educate your kids. It’s another to help them deal with the pandemic. You orient them about the crisis because you want to help them acknowledge the situation. Along with this is to help them process their emotions. Once they understand the pandemic and identify their feelings, they will get by in the new normal. But as a parent, you are instrumental in achieving these.
3. Ensure an Open Line of Communication
It’s crucial to maintain an open line of communication during this pandemic. As a parent, be sure to encourage your kids to talk to you every day. Make them comfortable in communicating with you. Most importantly, you must be there for your children if they have problems. Keep in mind that they need you now more than ever. In the end, you must be your children’s core group.
4. Establish Healthy Routines at Home
Health and wellness always start at home. As a parent, you should promote healthy living at home for kids to strictly observe and follow. These include eating nutritious foods, drinking plenty of water, getting regular exercise, and having enough restorative sleep. These are fundamental health routines your children must develop and acquire during this pandemic. Not only will these keep them physically fit, but they will also make them mentally stable.
5. Regulate and Limit Digital Consumption
It’s easy to see kids hooked on their mobile phones and surfing online during this pandemic. Chances are, they check different online sites, browse social media channels, and play online games. As a result, they have a sedentary lifestyle in the new normal. This lifestyle can be detrimental to their physical and mental health. As a parent, make sure to monitor their digital use. Along with this is to regulate it and limit its hours of consumption.
6. Motivate Them to Enjoy Their Hobbies and Interests
Instead of spending most of their time online, your kids must pursue their hobbies and interests. But as a parent, you must encourage and motivate them to do worthwhile and fun activities. For instance, you can boost their imagination and creativity through arts and crafts. Also, allow them to transform their bedrooms to unleash their artistry. Lastly, let them help you in your outdoor gardening to keep them busy and preoccupied. These are just a few examples of activities they can engage in, but be sure to factor in their lines of interest.
7. Consult With a Mental Health Professional When Necessary
As a parent, your logical course of action is to bring your kids to a pediatric medical center if they are unwell. If they show symptoms of COVID-19, you’ll immediately get them tested and medically treated. The same thing applies to their mental health. If they show signs of anxiety and depression, it’s best to consult with mental health professionals. Chances are, your children need to get therapy to help them cope with the crisis.
At this point, you now know what it takes to foster your children’s mental health during this pandemic. As a responsible parent, consider the mental health tips recommended above. While the pandemic isn’t yet over, monitor your kids, protect their health, and ensure mental wellness. With all these in mind, you’ll help them get by in the new normal and even help them rise above the pandemic. Ultimately, you’ll foster their overall health and well-being!