During Covid-19 Pandemic, there are various questions in the minds of children. Those questions are sometimes difficult to answer. Here are ways to learn how parents should answer children’s questions during Coronavirus (Covid)-19 pandemic.
We are suffering from Covid 19 Pandemic since last year and we recently witnessed a heart-wrenching condition that happened in the last two months. Everyone including children has been badly affected. No one ever dreamed that one day such a terrible time would come. At this time people have suffered direct and indirect losses. Shortages of hospital beds, medical oxygen and medicines were rampant, and mass cremations were underway in many cities.
The children watch the news and listen to elders talk about the disease. This is making the children worried about their parents or grandparents whether they will survive the epidemic if they get the infection.
Now the news of the arrival of the third wave in which there is a possibility of children getting infected is increasing the fear among them. Earlier it was a known fact that children would be least affected by the COVID infection. But, due to the mutation in the virus, it is predicted that in the next wave, children will also be affected. So now it is essential that children be prepared to avoid the possibility of this third wave.
What is the role of parents during the Covid-19 Pandemic?
Routine, lifestyle has all changed and elders have to work from home and children have to study from home. In times like these, parents have more responsibilities than ever before.
Parents are taking good care of the children at home. It is not easy for parents to do this in such crucial circumstances.
Now that the situation has worsened due to the second wave and people anticipating the third wave, there is huge anxiousness among children. Some children have started checking their temperature frequently, google symptoms of COVID-19 and wash their hands obsessively. These are the signs of anxiety among children. None of us had ever seen such a situation in our life.
It is obvious that the pandemic is affecting mental health.
Children are constantly worrying about their own health, about their parents’ health. They feel restless about not being able to meet their friends, play with their friends, go to school
Many kinds of questions keep arising in the minds of children. Sometimes it is very difficult for the parents to answer the questions of the children. Because now there are such questions in the mind of children, which parents do not have the right answer. Still, the parents are required to solve the problems of the children.
How should parents answer children’s questions during the Covid-19 Pandemic?
Kids ask direct and often painful Covid-19 questions. If parents do not answer the questions then fear will set in their minds. It is important for parents and caregivers to maintain a sense of calm and composure while talking to kids during a crisis. Even though the situation keeps the parents emotional but they have to remain mature.
Also, It is not proper that parents make a story to explain. Parents will have to respond to all inquiries up to the level of satisfaction of the children.
If parents do not have an answer, respond to their question with another question, she says, to gauge what they are thinking.
They can ask the kids,
What made you ask this?
This way the parents get a hint as to how to proceed in the conversation.
Following are the common questions asked by children during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Why did Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic happen?
What happens when a child becomes an orphan?
What if I get COVID-19? What will happen to me?
What will happen if mom or dad gets COVID-19? Is Grandpa going to die?
When is the pandemic going to end?
When can I meet my friends?
When will I be able to go to school?
What should I do at home, I am getting bored at home?
Can I call my friends at home?
The relevant answers given by the parents during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
- To answer questions like these that do not have a clear answer, it’s best, to be honest with kids rather than give them false hope.
- Parents may tell them, ‘We do not know when this will end, but what we can do is take it one day at a time. So, let’s see what we can control.’
- Sometimes stories can help children deal with uncertainty.
- The first thing to do is to normalize the children’s feelings and let them know that it is normal to be worried. Everybody gets upset sometimes.
- It is necessary to take the energy of children away from the epidemic.
- Parents should take out time to do some physical exercise with their children.
- Take some time to talk about a favorite book that you and the kids have read together occasionally.
- Involve them in household chores and give them some small responsibilities. In this way, they will also get the pleasure of doing some work.
6. It helps to talk about other things, not just the pandemic.
But completely ignoring their questions can backfire.
Children are very perceptive so parents cannot hide their mental state from the children. They can tell by looking at the expressions of the parents that the parents are worried about something. That’s why it’s better not to hide things from children and show them articles about vaccines. And show them the data of those children who got infected and then recovered.
This way children will see COVID-19 as a manageable disease and not a disease that is only killing people. With this knowledge, the children will be ready to face COVID-19 fearlessly without being afraid of getting it.
7. Fear is often a good motivator, but if it is overdone, instead of motivating, the fear itself becomes a problem. So instead of showing fear to explain something, try to tell its truth.
So instead of saying wear your mask or else, you will get COVID. You should say that wear a mask because it is the rule.
If children are upset about talking about this pandemic, then it is not a solution to stop talking to them about it. It should be depicted correctly. Dramatically narrating someone’s troubles does not have the right effect on children.
Tell them honestly about the truth.
8. It is very important for parents to take care of themselves to maintain their morale high. Because if he does not do this, then it will start expressing trouble in his behavior, in feelings. Therefore, parents should take some time aside for themselves and must spend some time in their favorite activity.
9. Another great way to motivate kids is to create stories and then role-play them. Kids can be inspired to make up a story where coronavirus is a monster and they become superheroes to kill the virus with their superpower. To motivate them to wear the mask, parents can portray the mask as a superhero and it kills the virus. Similarly, hand sanitizer can also be used. These are useful techniques to answer questions about covid-19 for students.
10. Let the children make up the stories with their favorite characters. It gives parents a clue as to what is going on in children’s minds.
Teach them happy endings with such stories. It helps children to imagine that everything will be good in the end. By doing so, parents can also explain some educational questions related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Parents and caregivers need to ensure that children are in a supportive environment.
Parents should avoid punishing or scolding their children. At this time when everyone is upset, it is also okay to ignore some things to keep the atmosphere of the house harmonious. For example, children do not do the homework properly if they have to work. Maybe because of not going out of the house, they spend more time on the screen. Sometimes don’t exercise. So, do not explain such things too much, but explain them with ease.
It is hard to tell how well which strategy will work. But ‘trial and error’ is a part of good parenting. It is difficult to fully understand the psychology of their children but parents keep on learning by making some mistakes and corrections because parents can never give up.