The pandemic has required most people to stay indoors. While this may be tolerable for some time, it’s easy to get agitated as the quarantine period drags on.
This may be even harder for the children who don’t yet completely grasp the situation we are in. As noted in an article on The Guardian, some signs of children feeling cooped up include panic attacks and voicing out how they miss their friends. Other signs can include moodiness, irritability, and even physical symptoms such as headaches.
It’s important that this feeling of being cooped up is addressed as it may lead to severe mental health issues. So with that in mind, here are a few ways you can relieve some of your little ones’ stress:
Play board games
Board games provide entertainment. And for people who have been stuck indoors for a long time, entertainment is vitally important. Playing board games lets you have family time where you can laugh and have a good time, effectively reducing stress. This moment of positivity also strengthens your immune system as it releases chemicals that fight stress. Plus, board games can help in your child’s development, as it helps them improve their logic, reasoning, and critical thinking. New York Magazine recommends educational board games that you and your children can play. Some titles you can check out include Wildcraft, which teaches them about herbalism; Snakes and Ladders, which lets them practise numbers; and Connect 4, a classic game where they can practise critical thinking.
Take your child for a walk
Going out of the house for some fresh air and sunlight can be great for mental health. Aside from preventing anxiety and calming the mind, walking with your child is also an effortless way to squeeze in some exercise for both of you. One factor to consider when going out for a walk is which way your child is facing. A post on Words for Life explains that when a child faces you they are twice as likely to speak, which will help develop a better bond. If they are older then facing away from the parent will allow them to interact with the world. According to studies on Child Mind, being immersed in nature can stimulate their imagination, promote their creativity, and even help them grow up happier.
The good news for parents is you don’t need to invest in a pram and a pushchair. iCandy’s pram guide outlines how there are modern pushchairs with both parent- and world-facing modes. This way, you can easily and comfortably switch between being able to interact with them directly while on your walk, and immersing them in their surroundings. If you have two younger children, you may wish to read information specifically about single to double stroller use, which could make life much easier. Of course, as we’re still in a pandemic, it’s important to take extra cautions. Be sure to always have hand sanitiser, disinfectant spray, and extra masks with you wherever you go.
Read to your child
Being in isolation is a good time to teach your child to read. After all, reading can activate their imagination despite being stuck indoors. In our article Learning to Read: How to Support Your Child, we mentioned that the trick is to prioritise your reading time with them. Otherwise, they won’t take reading as seriously because they don’t see you putting aside time for the activity. Let them practise reading as well. They don’t have to read to just you; they can simply read aloud on their own or even to their toys! Either way, remember to always offer them encouragement and praise as this will build their confidence.
Even if your child doesn’t seem to be exhibiting any signs of stress right now, a change of pace and scenery will nonetheless be healthy for them. Furthermore, preventing it is better than having to cure it later on.