We all know that this past one and a half year has been difficult and trying for all of us, even the children are being affected due to this. Adults think that young children, especially toddlers and infants, don’t understand or aren’t aware of what is happening around them. Sometimes being adults, we believe that ‘They are just kids, they would probably don’t even remember!’ This is where we are wrong!
Even toddlers and infants understand what is going on around them and can get affected by the stress, specifically seeing their parents and caregivers stressed.
Young children don’t exactly have the grasp to get the world as young adults and grown-ups do. Changes in their surroundings make them anxious and worried. Though they can’t convey or talk to us about their worries, it is our piece of work to carry out.
Most of what children, even young adults or teenagers, need is the sense that they are safe, secure, and listened to by their parents and guardians! It’s the feeling of reassurance and being heard by their caregivers.
COMMON REACTIONS TO STRESS IN YOUNG CHILDREN- MENTAL HEALTH IS IMPORTANT
Adults must get that children and young adults do not have the skill or language to convey their feelings to you. So, it is you who have to look for signs and initiate a conversation.
Young children tend to show what’s bugging, stressing, upsetting, and worrying them through behavioral changes and show what they are feeling inside. Look out for these switches in their behavior, which are primarily reactions due to stress-
Some effective ways of keeping children calm and happy include-
- Temper tantrums
- Sleeping problems
- Increased crying
- Bad dreams
- Needy or clingy behavior
- Trouble being soothed or comforted
- Reassuring them that you will keep them safe and secure through verbal conversation if your kid understands the language. And for children who do not understand, talking for them is comforting them through physical touch and embrace like hugs, snuggles, and swaying while holding.
- Maintaining regular patterns of days.
- Getting physical exercise and fresh morning air.
- For children, who ask about the current COVID-19 situations, provide them brief and simple information reassuring them that they are safe.
- Limit your kids’ exposure to TVs, mobile phones, and media during COVID-19 situations
- Encouraging reading books, playing, and stories.
In all, spending time with them and just talking to them will keep your child stress-free!
KEEPING THEM PROTECTED DURING COVID-19 OUTBREAKS
The emergence of coronavirus disease has led to widespread concern and panic among everyone. But, parents with young children are the most worried!
These are few ways you can protect your child from getting infected-
- Children can be the biggest health crusaders. Teach them the importance of following personal hygiene practices and their vital role in fighting off COVID-19 disease.
- Explain to them to wash hands with water and soap for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Ask them to avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth repeatedly or without washing hands.
- Make sure kids follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering their mouth and nose with bent elbow or tissue when they cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
- Use regular household cleaners or wipes to clean things that get touched a lot (doorknobs, light switches, toys, remote controls, phones, etc.). Do this every day.
- Lastly, lead by example. Kids learn what they see, so parents who follow good hygiene will, as a result, encourage their children to do the same.
Lastly, you should try your best to keep calm. Stay home, stay safe. Try not to go outside without any important errand to run! Your children follow you, imitate you, do the right thing!