Tips on Social Isolation by Covid-19 for Parents of Young Children

We have never experienced such a circumstance in our lives, being in isolation to stop the spread of a virus, which we might be carrying, and not know about it or infect older adults or certain people causing a very serious disease. It’s understandable to feel many mixed emotions fear, annoyance, and anguish.

Having contact only with the people you live with is a great challenge, and if you have little ones at home you will wonder: how does it affect them?

Self-analysis

The first thing I have to tell you is that it’s essential to start asking yourselves how does this affects you as a mom or as a dad, it depends on how you’re doing to really know how your kids are. Remember that they’re like a sponge that absorbs everything and they won’t necessarily have the words to express their feelings.

Think for a moment: How are you? What are you feeling? What are your concerns? What makes you feel more frustrated, what brings you joys, what challenges you?

Discuss about it, talk to another adult at home, think about it, pray, talk to God. It is good that our thoughts and emotions are not stored within us, speaking about it makes us understand it better and then it is easier for us to cope with it and if we are well, we will give our children the best.

Now, let’s go back to our children, does social isolation bring psychological effects on children?

The answer is YES

Remember that you’ve changed your routine and children are very vulnerable to any routine change.

Like you, they also miss grandparents, friends, and the park.

If you are with high levels of stress, they will be too and this will be more evident and show some aspects of their temper, becoming more irritable, or withdrawn or vary their usual way of being.

Remember that they also are making sacrifices and it is important to understand them.

You are an important piece to help reverse this situation and make it a positive circumstance, your children can learn how you manage a new situation, this is a time when everyone can win. They can learn to get to know each other and get to know their family more.

Recommendations

1. Routine

Create a new routine…

 Children at this age need to anticipate, knowing what will happen gives them security. You can make a new schedule for the dynamics in the house. Little ones learn a lot by waiting for something to happen and order for them is the key.

If your child is too young, see how you can organize time with your husband or wife, try to make the routine as stable as possible.

Again, schedule is key, but don’t be rigid with it. Structure and flexibility is essential.

Create plans. Waiting for something different is very good. “Tomorrow we will make pizza and in the afternoon we will water the garden… “ Try to make expectations about something that they’re excited about and wait for the time to come.

2. Explain

Let’s not lose sight of why we’re like this. We must explain to our little ones what is going on… at their age, without alarming them.

A simple explanation at the level of our 3-, 4- or 5-year-olds could be:

“There is a virus called Corona Virus that can make us sick and we can infect others. This virus gets in our nose, throat and makes us cough, sneeze, make us feel a little bad. If we don’t want to infect others and we don’t want others to infect us, we want to close the door of our house, it’s doctor recommended. If we get sick, it will be for just a few days, that is it, but for grandparents it can take a little longer.

Because we love older people so much, we’ll stay home for a while without going out. And we will make this time an unforgettable time.”

3. Watch out for the news

Don’t watch news all day. This can scare children and will be exposed to more information they don’t have to listen to, this will fill them with anxiety.

4. Significant experiences.

Let your kids tell you how they feel, if they’re upset, scared. It’s important for them to talk, the emotions then come out in some way. With the little ones, sometimes it is not so simple to talk about emotions. Emotions are shown when you tell them a story, draw, do a manual work. Art is a means of expressing emotions.

Generate experiences of joy, let’s be creative, and let’s do different things like camping in the living room, carnivals in the garden, dance, watch videos, movies.

Laugh. Try to get your child to remember this time in a special way.

Music in the little ones is key; it relaxes them and generates a lot of well-being. Songs that are repeated, with mimic, that can be danced are very positive.

Let’s take this time to see photos, videos of your family, it’s time to remember and share.

Limits-Discipline

This is a time of more tolerance and patience, let’s be flexible but not relaxed, do not lose basic limits, these will even give security.

Limits can be linked to responsibility, keep an eye on small assignments in your daily routine. Set aside limits to fulfill responsibility and respect in the way we relate.

Let’s use the technology wisely.

  • Make sure you’re not glued to your cell phone or computer. Set a schedule so you can spend time with your children. Don’t stop being together as a real family. In this time it will be a temptation to have the cell phone next to you.
  • With children: a little more technology during this time will not affect them, but be strategic, control the use of devises with time. The afternoon is a good time because you may be more tired and the screen can relax you. Never before bed. The story will always be irreplaceable.
  • Get in touch with your be loved ones through Videoconferences with cousins, uncles, grandparents, it helps a lot and will allow us to get closer.

Take care of yourself.

Take a break, you don’t have to be together all the time. Continuous attention to your child is exhausting and the quality of your connection decreases. Notice that you need time yourself , as a mom or dad.

With the help of God and Together as a Family we will overcome this virus

Patricia Espinosa
Directora Preschool



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