Before COVID-19, the word “pandemic” existed only in the dictionary or medical books, but today we are living with that word, and it’s the new normal for all of us. We’ve all had to adjust to resolve new challenges in our daily lives, but it is our children who are affected the most. Having a toddler of my own, the day-to-day struggle to keep my child engaged is real.
Recently I was fortunate enough to attend Her Parenting Place with Dr. Catherine Jackson (Dr. J). In my words, I will sum up what she emphasized:
- Kids also have feelings like us. Let them express those feelings. Sadness or joy is a part of life growing up, and children have to feel safe and know when to express those emotions.
- We as parents also need to express our feelings for our kids to connect. When these feelings are shared the communication between the child and parent flows better.
- Hugs and kisses should not be stopped.
- Create an environment of positivity and gratitude for the child to thrive in.
- In a time when the parks and the play areas are closed, we still need to get out and be active. Growing up being active is an integral part of a child’s growth, and we must make sure that experience is not affected.
I was able to relate to everything that Dr. J mentioned, and it gave me a positive indication that what I am doing for my child is correct for his growth in these tough times. Our daily walks in the neighborhood have become a time to explore the outdoors. We started doing activities like playing with Legos, making cartoon faces with his favorite play dough and all this gave birth to the art wall in the house. The art wall now has approximately 15 paintings and the creations that have come as a result of him being home. Having weekly video calls with family and friends has helped my child still feel connected even though he is not able to meet with them physically.
It’s a difficult time as adults and more so for a young child growing up, but simple things can surely help them to maintain a normal routine and enjoy this time as a family together.
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