The world came to a standstill when Covid-19, ‘Thanos’ of this century snapped his fingers and brought the nations to a standstill! Just like the snap of Thanos, the antagonist of the Avengers world wiped off half of the Universe, Covid-19 too has wiped off thousands and brought tumultuous times in many super nations. Where multinationals were getting ready to close the financial year, analyze the first quarter of 2020 and await their hard – earned bonuses, human kind experienced exponential pandemic that shook the world and its realms. It left no stone unturned to bring huge suffering to many countries resulting into lockdown of life in the four walls of their homes afraid and anxious of the catastrophe that each family was coerced into. Nearly every business and nation felt the effects of this public health crisis that began in China in December but slowly engulfed the world in 90 days. While the countries and their governance are working towards flattening the curve of the trajectory, emergency and healthcare measures are being taken to ensure the safety and well being of the citizens of every state in India and beyond.
Nations went on 2-4 weeks of Lockdown resulting into travel restrictions, event cancellations, multinationals working from home, erratic and sudden closure of schools and colleges, exam cancellations, supply chain complications, stoppage of shops and establishments, zero entertainment, job loss, deferment of salaries and bonuses, excessive burden on healthcare segments, isolated retail lanes, ecommerce restrictions on non-essential goods, and much more! Covid-19 has painted the town red with Social and financial effects in all sectors are being seen over micro and major towns! The new normal looks indeed lopsided and infinitely scary. While the Government agencies, healthcare specialists and national and international leaders are preparing themselves in this Infinity War, the most neglected and unacknowledged ‘super heroes’ in our homes keep us going strong day by day and inch by inch in this madcap crisis.
None other than our children, who lost their precious summer holidays, but never left their sunny side to charm us and show the brighter side of life everyday. As we work from home, they fight boredom and absence of friends and their best cousins over in their summer holidays. Everyday, they fight out all the temptations of setting their feet freely in sunny parks, which look far cleaner and greener today! There constant requests to be their playmates can annoy us and then there are times that they baffle us with their exuberant energy and positivity. We may be complacent to their low downs and the constant whys towards their ambiguous months. One thing is certain - As the world fights the war against Covid-19, we have to fight the war against all the forces at our homes as their sole caregivers to keep them safe, happy and balanced through these tough times.
Could we look at rearranging priorities and concentrate on how they could continue to adapt and cope up with any resulting anxieties out of this ‘new normal’?
Will that keep me and my stress levels at bay too?
How will my boss understand my caregiver’s role that equally needs attention and time today?
How do I, as a parent, utilize this lockdown period to help their children to grow stronger and stay joyful?
Do you find yourself getting hounded by some of these questions time and again to protect your child’s well-being and happiness in these anxious times? Here are some of the easy and interesting activities that you and your child can do together to make the most of these lockdown days and bring happiness and positivity about each other.
1. Figure out a schedule that works for both of you with current challenges and work from home restrictions.
2. Prepare a timetable with parent and child slots to have a bird’s eye view
3. While you always wish to keep an eye on that tablet that your child is using, invest in a dedicated workplace for you. Your annoyance could be triggered with several interruptions that you can face if you are always around your child’s desk.
4.The funniest thing of work from home that this arrangement gives one the freedom to conduct meetings in your homewear. However, avoid being seen in your pyjamas. Your work wear still continues to hold importance even from home base. Now, you may still be coy about the wear that you choose below the waistline Again, the importance of work meets can be well felt by your family if you also show due respect through your choice of visual finery.
5. It is a great idea to match your break timeslots with that of your child. Even during my busiest and chaotic days of the lockdown, I have managed to sneak in a Connect 4 or an Uno game that does not steal away your time. Regular breaks synchronized with that of your child will make him feel attended and refreshed.
6. Embrace video interactions with your colleagues. Share notes and check on how they are able to manage some family time along with work deliverables. This will keep you more humane in your way of working as well as give you few practical tips of managing life and work at home.
7. Create carrots to involve your child in uncluttering activities. With his / her help, you can transform your at-home space into a non-clutter zone. We are only working on those trigger buttons that hit off in your mind!
8. In such times, you may find it quite difficult to accept your new work surroundings. While you are trying your best to extend support to your family, do take a minute or two to find your sunny side or that sunny corner at your home. A simple cup of tea sipped at your backyard or your balcony will bring back your energies to face the chaos of the day.
9. Does this sound familiar - You are about to get hold of your laptop and you see saucy fingerprints on the keypad! Or you had saved those cookies to go with your much-awaited cup of tea after two back-to-back calls and you find them halfway in your child’s mouth! What you need is your old ergonomically spruced up office with a caps lock on Kids free zone – is that really a joke? The earlier you accept that you now need to share their world and their home, the better balanced and sane you will be. Again, you might be able to stay away from picking on your child’s habits of being your shadow all the time.
10. I love the number from Madagascar series, ‘Move it, move it, I like to move it! Keeping you and your child in an exercise regime in this lockdown conditions will reap many benefits. Your child is bag full of energy to be only utilized in the right manner and exercise will only keep her body supple and strong. By squeezing in basic form of hand and leg exercises together will make you share some laughs and share some health goals.
11. Anchor your day with pats and self-appreciation that will keep you motivated throughout the day. We never said that this juggling act of kindness would be easy on you. Give yourself the credit by not over expecting and undermining your intentions to work this out for all.
12. I am sure that you have started connecting with good friends that have always been a part of your call list but never managed to grab even a minute or two in the earlier days. But, have you thought of getting your child connected with his good set of school friends on a video interface? Your child’s happiness will skyrocket if you get this facilitated with the help of other parents.
13. Practice gratitude and how? Be thankful for every smile and hug that your child gives you for simply being around. Be thankful for all the meals that you may share with your family today. Be thankful for all the wasteful hours of travel that you are saving today and can be invested to spend some beautiful moments with your child instead.
14. Use positive affirmations or encouraging sentences to thank each other. Human psyche makes one crib and complaint loudly however, positive and grateful words are never expressed loudly and clearly. These positive announcements will throw out their positive vibes and charge your home surroundings.
15. Play some fun games such as Monopoly, Othello, Snakes and Ladders in the day. You may also involve your child to use his imaginative, visual and creative skills and craft out varied fun interpretations in a DIY snakes and ladders game on a chat.
16. The word ‘Discipline’ is not only for your child but also for yourself. He will only ape your bad ways and lifestyle choices that you make consciously or unconsciously. So, shut down all the screens during family lunches and dinners and take that hour to catch up on each other’s days and moments.
17. Spread joy by doing something fun and crazy with your child. Remember his world has also gone topsy-turvy. Speak with at least 5 people to spread joy
18. Read something fun together and help your child to share his ideas and perspectives. This way he will be able to expose himself to a world full of ideas and stories.
19. Watch the ceiling! No, I have not lost my mind. Today’s ceiling is yesterday’s blue sky. And to watch the ceiling together with your child will make you childlike and friendly. It will also encourage your child to think out of the box and imagine the limitless world with you. Again, watch the ceiling can also be all about doing nothing with your child, which is really enjoyable, and boundary less.
20. Roll up your sleeves and wear chef hats made of newspapers to cook up something new and still minimal with little resources that we can stock up today. This will be a great opportunity to bring up culinary and cooking skills in your child and make him or her responsible and respectful towards food. Not to mention, both of you will have super fun and feel satiated after an act of making a simple glass of lemonade together.
21. The days of having a bucket of popcorn at a super packed movie hall are kaput! That still does not stop you from catching up on few best-titled movie releases or web series with your child on movie apps. After a day long of Zoom meets, you might schedule a night movie of your child’s choice and few cuddles in your favorite sofa. Few chips and appetizers with relaxed bedtime rule will make your child swoon over you!
22. Share your House errands – A great way to teach accountability and ownership to your child. Even a simple stock check on house supplies and green stocks can be greatly helpful and educational. A quick 4 step method of running a washing machine can easily be understood by your child when he can handle the world’s smartest phones and tablets!
23. Where the world has come together to safeguard the health and well being of their citizens, you can amp up these initiatives by planning safety and hygiene monitors at your home. Your little pumpkins will be more than happy to get that opportunity to monitor the safety rules and practices at home. Make them Covid-19 responsible!
24. As their caregivers, do not neglect the need of utilizing their intellect in learning something during these lockdown periods. Invest in an online program to up-skill your child and facilitate the entire learning process. An interactive program conducted online in the safe and a secure boundary of your home is just the thing that your child needs right now. It will also act as a simulation of teacher-led environment that she may have completely missed.
25. Be in the moment – As difficult this phase has been on you, it has been equally unsettling and scary for your child. By being in the present, you will have lesser quarrels and expectations from the day.
You may choose to prepare your workplan, rearrange priorities to concentrate on work and life and adapt your plan to tackle this phase with your child with a different dimension. This may be a good chance to introspect and dig deeper into the larger role of a parent. Whether it is taking cat naps with your child, paint your canvases together, facilitate and involve her in online learning sessions or have hearty talks to ease the pressure; these lovely 25 tips are simply the tip of the iceberg – the iceberg that can either engulf you in guilt and heartburn or can give you a deeper purpose to share beautiful moments with your little super heroes at your home!
We encourage you to take advantage of these practical, yet warm tips to manage your child’s well being at home during the lockdown stages of Covid-19. Look out for plan C – where C stands for Child-centric plan – and create a symbiosis of unforgettable moments, learnings and happiness that will sustain beyond the testing times.
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