Prepping Our Children for the Post-Pandemic Life
Updated: Sep 24, 2020
This article has been written in collaboration with Sanjana Khanna, a counseling psychologist and trainer. You can see more of her work here
If there is one thing that is in our control in these uncertain times, it is the precautions that we can take for our family. We routinely take pauses in our lives to reflect, make a fresh start, and increase productivity. But this prolonged pause in our day to day lives due to the pandemic has only made things worse. We have ended up inculcating more unhealthy habits into our lives, and normalcy has gone for a toss.
Yes, more and more people are going digital now than ever before.
Yes, even more people are working relentlessly from home for more than 10-12 hours a day.
But, in this chaos, we did not realise that sitting at home for hours on end has deprived us of quite a few important things in our lives. Let us see what they are:
v Limited exposure to physical activities, games, walking, taking metros, using lifts, getting on the bus, running, etc. A overly sedentary lifestyle affects our health adversely in the long run.
v Children are becoming more and more addicted to mobile screens and laptops and this can lead to a range of problems such as fatigue, burnout, and vision and back problems.
v The prolonged social isolation has now made all of us quite comfortable in our own cocoons. Children have begun to revel in this lifestyle now, and do not feel the need to be digitally connected with their friends.
But, since there is no respite from this pandemic situation in sight, we have to prepare ourselves to adjust to the new normal.
Here are some tips on how you can prepare your children better for the post pandemic world:
1) Communicate with facts:
Your children are smart enough to find out about the current updates about the pandemic, but what if the information available online is not authentic? They might get used to the erroneous information being sprinkled everywhere. As parents, we should sit and talk to them with facts about the crisis. If they become sufficiently aware of the current situation, then chances of them getting misled by wrong information will be far less.
2) Making a healthy routine:
Lack of a structured schedule and accountability is what is plaguing adults and children alike these days. In the meantime, children have completely forgotten how to wake up early and lead a disciplined lifestyle. As parents, you should make sure they wake up early, attend online classes, and are socially connected with their friends. Mental health should also become a priority by taking a digital detox from time to time, getting enough exercise, and spending quality time with the family.
3) Walk the talk:
Being locked inside and isolated has been a humongous change for everyone. And thinking back to the pre pandemic days only ramps up our stress and anxiety levels. But, if we do not want to pass on the stress to our children, we must make sure we practice all the necessary precautions with a positive attitude, and make sure our children imbibe those qualities.
4) Getting back to normal:
Discuss the new sets of rules and regulations with your children. You will have to set umpteen boundaries together. Brainstorm on questions like “Will you will be letting relatives visit you?”, “How will you be commuting to work? “and “Will we be getting the same amount of family time as before?” As parents, work in tandem with your children to set common rules and boundaries.
Thus, parents and caregivers should be open to having honest conversations with their children amidst such unprecedented circumstances. It may be tempting to put on a brave face and ignore the situation but brushing the underlying tensions under the carpet will only backfire. Ultimately, all that matters is how well prepared you and your children are to face the challenges of a post covid world.
By - Sanjana Khanna Edited by - by Anusha Taarinie Jha Graphic by - Soumiya