As days pass, the novel coronavirus continues to account for the disruption of the lives of a significant portion of the global population. This has triggered feelings of anxiety, depression and fear among people regardless of their cultures, genders or ages. As a matter of fact, the phenomenon poses a great cause for discord within families. Considering the naivety of children, it is the role of their parents to prevent them from panicking or living risky lifestyles that make them vulnerable to this contagion.
First, parents should maintain calmness and reassure their children that everything will be OK. Typically, youngsters react to situations based on their parents’ verbal and non-verbal cues. It is wise to protect them from unwarranted anxiety by reassuring them that the family is fine, and will overcome the situation. Parents ought to be available for their children so that they can feel free to discuss their fears and concerns regarding the pandemic as well as the state of the family. When talking about the pandemic, all information conveyed by the parent should be not only honest but also accurate to avoid confusion. A positive view is further advanced by refraining from blaming particular groups for the virus. It is important to maintain global unity regardless of the origin of the disease. Such a perspective will help prevent bullying among children living in multicultural regions.
Working at home with a full house can have its challenges. Here are some parent-tested tips for remote work when you have children at home.
- Negotiate parenting responsibilities with your spouse. Clarity is a marriage saver!
- Plan the day in 30-minute increments. Small increments allow children to stay focused.
- Enlist kids in doing more chores. Reinforce positive behaviors.
- Choose a project each day to keep your children entertained. Imagination is the greatest toy.
- Post a schedule each morning. That heads off many questions.
- Connect before doing deep work. A few minutes of focused time can free you to focus on your work.
- Take advantage of downtime. When your children sleep, you focus.
- Signal when you’re working. A Post-It Note, a closed door or “Mommy’s going to work now” — whatever works best for your family.
- Parents keep up your shutdown ritual. You need to decompress, and they need to have you “home” from work.
Parents should monitor the information consumed by their children through social media and cable. It should be understood that excessive information on the virus is bound to trigger feelings of anxiety among children.
Regular routines should be maintained as much as possible. This will ensure that the home activities are in progress, and the family is distracted from the disturbing news. Remember: This shall pass!
Anthony Cupo is a trained mindfulness facilitator (TMF) from the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. He is a co-owner of Stepping Forward Counseling Center, LLC and has been meditating for over 30 years.
Photo: Charles Deluvio