The prolonged COVID-19 pandemic has affected all aspects of socio-economic life. Our psychological problems and mental health are greatly influenced, and children are not excluded. During this time, if parents forget to take care of children’s social emotional wellbeing, it can have a significant impact on their psyche. Establishing a stable mental state is one of the necessary tasks in the current complicated situation of COVID-19.
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Mental health is a state of being positive in thoughts, feelings and actions. A person with good mental health will always see the positive side in every problem, whether it is difficult or challenging. This will give us a feeling of joy, optimism, and an energetic body. Social emotional wellbeing can be seen as the core of a healthy body and a happy life. Taking care of mental health is an indispensable job during a prolonged pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many challenges for parents and many obstacles for students. Children are vulnerable to change. When they are doing online learning and are only able to see and interact with their friends on-line, they need more attention and support than ever.
Here are 6 ways to take care of your children’s social emotional wellbeing during the pandemic that Tesla would like to share with parents:
It is recommended for parents to actively talk to their children about COVID-19 and show them the importance of staying healthy. Dr. Lisa Damour – Adolescent psychologist advises that parents should encourage their children to let them know when they are not feeling well or when they are worried about the virus so that parents can help.
Children need regular activities. Children will feel more relieved when they have a sense of certainty, knowing in advance what activities will be in the day, when to study and when to play. Therefore, it is recommended for parents to build a daily schedule with their children, including the time they are allowed to use technology devices, play, and help with housework.
Parents, be prepared that your children may be deeply saddened by the limitations and loss he is going through. Not being able to continue going to school, missing out on travel or fun plans, extracurricular activities, etc. will make children more frustrated than adults. That’s because they do not have as much experience as adults to be able to properly evaluate and reflect on a certain issue. Children need the sympathy, listening and sharing of parents.
There is a lot of false information about the pandemic, so parents need to check the information that their children hear or read. Chat with them to find out what they have learned and where they get the information to guide them towards the right path. If your children ask questions that you cannot answer, use this opportunity to work with them to find the answers.
Having more time at home with children is also an opportunity for parents to observe their feelings and reactions to each issue. Help your children diffuse negative emotions by moving through fun activities together. Parents can take advantage of the cooking time to join their children in the kitchen, cook their favorite dishes or try out new foods.
For children who are often “glued” to the computer or phone screen, parents will be able to come to an agreement with their children on the time to use technology devices. It is necessary to frankly discuss with children that parents understand that they have a lot of free time now, but using too much technology is not a good way to take care of their mental health. Ask your children, “How can we solve this problem? Can you design your own schedule and show it to me?”.
Children are very sensitive to emotional cues from their parents. Dr. Lisa Damour advises that “I would ask parents to do what they can to manage their anxiety in their own time and to not overshare their fears with their children. That may mean containing emotions, which may be hard at times, especially if they are feeling those emotions pretty intensely.” Children always trust their parents to feel safe and protected. Even when parents are worried, they should not let that affect the children’s sense of security.
Once again, Tesla would like to emphasize the importance of taking care of the social emotional wellbeing of children in these “sensitive” times. We hope families always have great health to enjoy life to the fullest.