Children represent almost 2% of the coronavirus cases in most countries like China, Italy, and the United States. In a report published by the Business Insider, children are more likely to become asymptomatic compared to adults, less likely to be infected and less prone to severe outcomes. This positive outlook on COVID-19 and children shouldn’t let down our guard, instead, it should make us realize that the children are vulnerable prey to the invisible enemy. 

Kids and the lockdown

Parents can feel the financial and mental pressure of the lockdown and children may suffer the same degree of anxiety without us knowing. Social restrictions and school closures have brought children in stressful conditions including depression. If adults long for coffee breaks and dinner with friends, children also miss being with their classmates and doing schoolwork that uncovers their talents and skills. 

child

 

Kids would want to be with others their age, share stories, laugh at imperfections, and celebrate little achievements. They, too, would want to be in their school uniforms again, share lunch with their best friends and run around the school grounds while waiting for their fetchers. 

We can all just imagine how these lockdown protocols have trimmed down the opportunities for little kids to socialize and live that stress-free life. The lack of outdoor play has greatly affected their physical and mental development. 

As school closures affected over 1.5 billion children and youth worldwide, parents should be aware of how this challenging time affects children in so many ways. 

Saving our children

Amid restrictions, parents have this huge responsibility to help kids cope safely and healthily with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. The UNICEF has recognized children as the most severely impacted victims of the pandemic. The organization believes that it is everyone’s responsibility to prevent suffering, save lives, and protect the health of every child.

We will get through this together, for every child. -UNICEF

In health

The pandemic can cause disruptions in health services and more newborns and young people may be strained if hospitals and medical institutions could be overwhelmed by coronavirus cases. 

What we can do:

Prevention is better than cure. While the government does its best to keep our hospitals and medical services prepared for an onslaught on coronavirus cases, adults who take care of children should see to it that they are preparing the right kind of food and sufficient physical activity included in their daily routine. 

Proper hygiene practices can shield children against the virus. Teaching the proper handwashing and ensuring that the home is a hygienic and healthy environment can help guard kids against potential illnesses. 

The overall health concern also encompasses mental and psychological fitness. Make sure you manage your own anxiety and don’t show your kids how worried you are with the current health crisis. 

Embracing The “New Normal” With Coronavirus

In education:

The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) against COVID-19 has recently approved the proposed opening of classes on August 24. On the other hand, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) calls for the Department of Education (DepEd) to postpone the planned school opening that will cause bigger problems such as the increased risk of coronavirus transmission. 

What we can do:

Again, let us make our homes the center of learning. Technology can aid us in teaching children, but it is through parental guidance and patience that children can learn more efficiently. As work-from-home becomes the new normal for adults, homeschooling becomes an integral part of children’s education. Parents can infuse creativity and skills enhancement with academic progress. Check out these five fun activities to teach your children while on lockdown. 

Strengthen your connection and collaboration with your children’s school officials and teachers. This way, you can get the latest updates and seek support in providing learning plans and materials for your children.

girl doing homework

In cyber contact

Experts have seen the unfolding of the new normal highlighting the importance of the internet in our lives. However, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the pandemic has caused children to be at increased risk of harm online. As families rely on the internet and digital solutions as a whole, almost 60% of children across 30 countries are exposed to cyber risks. The risks include cyberbullying, reputational risk, violence, sexual content, cyber threats, gaming disorder, and social media disorder. 

What we can do:

Be mindful of what your child reads, watches, and sees online. Check out how to filter contents that can be visible to them. Set a schedule and routine that could manage children’s exposure to social media. 

In finance

Financial difficulties are inevitable especially in cases of job loss. A lot of families suffer money issues at this time. From credit card balances to increased utility bills, children should begin to realize how important it is to manage their money wisely. 

7 Ways Your Kids Can Learn About Money Management

 

What we can do:

Depending on their age, we can gradually introduce the value of money in the household. Children should be taught small ways of reducing consumption like switching off unused gadgets or appliances, handling leftovers economically, or preparing a budget-friendly menu. Don’t hesitate to explain why your choices of food, goods, or essentials can help in handling the family’s finances. 

Final thoughts:

Children do not have the ability to express their thoughts and emotions as clearly as adults do. Acknowledging that they, too, are affected by the lockdown could help normalize the condition at home. As they say, it is okay not to be okay. Let your children feel their emotions because the lockdown has stolen their life experiences as a youth. Be ready to listen and be prepared with constructive answers to their questions.  While you want your children to interact and engage through a routine together, make sure they still have their personal space. 

There are a lot more things we can do to help children cope with the impacts of the lockdown. There is no standard rule when it comes to parenting but understanding, patience, love, and kindness can help families get through this crisis. 

Ailene Amaro

Ailene Amaro

Ailene is a history major turned language teacher turned finance writer. Stern and strict as she may seem, she spends her time away from her lesson plan with music and lyrics.

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