Being stuck at home isn't easy for kids. Children react differently to stressors. Not going to school, not playing with peers, a restricted area at home, a lot of information about a virus, observation of adult reactions, and a change in parents' lifestyle can alter the behavior of young kids and children. They may not be able to rationally post their doubts and questions, but they are noticing the changes. Following are some of the ways they would express their distress:
• Clinging to parents
• Loss of bladder or bowel control and constipation
• Change in sleeping pattern
• Loss or increase in appetite
• Become passive and quiet
• Irritability and aggressive behavior at home
• Loss of interest; poor concentration and attention
9 ways to help kids and children deal with the situation effectively
1. They observe how you react rather than what you speak, so stay calm, be assuring, and regulate your emotions.
2. Instill hope yet encourage them to follow all safety measures i.e hand hygiene, social distancing, and using masks even while talking and playing.
3. Provide honest and accurate information depending on their age.
4. Encourage asking questions and talking about how they feel about the changes and the present situation.
5. Watch your language and words while giving them information, say X is a 'survivor' of covid-19 infection rather than a 'victim' of coronavirus.
6. Make sure that you do not blame any person, community, or country for this crisis in front of the kids. Stigma is not healthy.
7. Have control over the screen time of the kids. Encourage them to play board games and if time permits, you should play with them too!
8. Channelizing their energy is important. Let them keep learning, read stories, play numerical puzzles, draw, and color posters.
9. Make sure they have a daily routine! There should be time to eat, sleep, learn, and have fun. After all, a structure provides safety and keeps children busy.