As communities and countries struggle to reopen borders and businesses amidst the global pandemic, it’s not only governments and companies that are concerned about the new normal. It’s also families and parents, as they anticipate the new rules and guidelines they would need to know to protect their children from the coronavirus.
Many parents now feel the full responsibility of their children’s education and free time, and many of them are aware of the difficult times they will face when children have to face the world under the guidelines of the ‘new normal.’ They want their children to live a normal life, but would their parenting skills work during a pandemic?
But what parents do not realize is that their parenting skills are needed now more than ever, as children will be spending more time with their families at home. Here are some parenting rules parents need to enforce in the time of coronavirus.
Teach Them Self-care and Hygiene
Now more than ever, children need to understand why necessary hygiene matters, and why it’s a sign of respect and consideration for other people. Make them practice washing their hands before and after meals, and make children understand what social distancing means. You might need to show your child how to show affection without a hug or kiss, especially if you or your partner work in the medical field. It might be a difficult transition, but it’s also a chance for your child to show off their creativity.
Eat a Healthy and Nutritious Meal
Many parents say this, but often do not enforce it when they eat out. Use the time you spend with your children preparing healthy meals filled with fruit and vegetables, along with healthy portions of meat, such as chicken and fish. If children want sweets, offer them dried fruits and nuts. If they wish to have baked goods, make it into a family activity and bake a cake, bread, or cookies. These family activities can become a learning activity, too, so make sure to ask your children to join you in the kitchen when you’re planning a meal.
Another reason to eat healthy food is to ensure that your family visit to the dentist is only for emergency reasons. For example, if you need to have a tooth implant surgery, you might need to visit your dentist to complete the procedure. But if your family only needs to see the dentist for their annual dental checkup, you might need to cancel that for a better time.
Provide a Schedule
Children need structure, and part of that is a schedule. They might be spending more time at home, but that doesn’t mean that they should spend their time as they wish. Children need structure at a young age, and parents need to give them a schedule for eating, sleeping, playing, and learning so that they can cope better when they go back to school.
Give them activities that enhance both their minds and their bodies, such as puzzle games, board games, and sports. Provide a time when they could do whatever they want to do, such as playing on their mobile gadgets or game machines. Giving them a schedule makes them understand that they cannot indulge in these activities for a long time.
But the most significant thing that any parent should do in these times is to communicate with their children and explain to them why staying at home will keep them healthy, protect their friends and family, and help their community rise from the COVID-19 pandemic.