April 3, 2020

Lockdown – Spending time together

lockdown - spending time together

We need to remember life isn’t getting in the way – it’s passing us by, and we should take this opportunity to hold our kids tight and try to make the most of this lockdown by spending time together. Try to think of those parents who might not have this opportunity anymore once we get through this.

We hear of many families dealing with sudden unemployment and financial stress. We are also facing the prospect of homeschooling our children whilst trying to work from home during lockdown.

Reassure your children that this is only temporary and empower them by telling them what they can do to keep themselves and others healthy. Tell them how blessed they are to be spending time together during lockdown and how many moms there are that are not able to be with their children right now.

Show them how they could be spending time together, with those they love and miss. Help your child conduct a video interview through WhatsApp video call, with their grandparent, their cousins, a neighbour or a close family friend. Encourage them to ask about a challenging experience a loved one may have had in their life and find out what helped them get through it. The interview should of course be adapted to your child’s developmental level. This will give your child the chance to connect with an order person and teach them how to listen and have empathy.

Lockdown – spending time together will give you a chance to talk to your child about all the people in their support network. Help your child draw a picture of everyone in their lives. You could draw their support network as a tree with the child as the trunk, family the branches and friends, classmates, teachers, neighbours, the doctor, dentist and other members of their community the leaves. This activitie will help children feel connected and safe, and remind them that support is always available, even while we’re all staying at home and that spending time together can mean doing different things whilst being in the same house.

Read books and name the emotions experienced by each character. Ask questions like, “have you ever felt like that?” or “how do you think they felt when that happened?”. This will help them to recognise feelings in themselves and others.

Spending time together does not necessarily mean you have to keep their minds stimulated with educational activities. Do things like activity books, puzzles, card games, board games, or Google something new they could find interesting and would want to chat about.

Just take the opportunity to enjoy learning with them and see how their brains tick. You may be very surprised!

Remember that the most important thing for your kids right now is to feel safe and connected to their families. As much as possible, try to stay calm, be present with your child, listen to their worries and give them clear, age-appropriate information.

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