Parenting is one of the hardest jobs in the world, if not the hardest. No one is fully prepared for the challenges that come with being a mom or a dad, but when you compound it with the difficulties of living in a pandemic and a recession, it becomes even harder. A study conducted in Italy, one of the hardest-hit countries, shows that both parents and children are having difficulties navigating the new normal.
For parents in states where lockdowns are imposed and homeschooling is mandated, it might be frustrating to help kids avoid restlessness and pandemic fatigue and keep them from hurting or injuring themselves in serious ways while stuck at home. But there are ways to ensure your home’s safety while facilitating your kids’ health and happiness. Here are some practices and activities to keep your kids happy, healthy, and safe during a pandemic.
Fix safety hazards around the house.
Inspect your house for signs of wear or anything heavy that could drop on them and remedy it. Here is a quick checklist for some things that you need to watch out for:
- Check your driveway for cracks that could cause your kids to trip while running or riding their bikes, and have those problem areas coat sealed.
- Secure every heavy device or appliance that can fall on them. For example, mounting your flat-screen TVs on to the walls.
- Install child locks on windows or doors that lead to balconies.
- Chances are, your home is already childproof. Regularly check if the small kids haven’t found a way to get around the safety gates on the stairs and child locks on the drawers.
Tips to Keep Them Healthy
Maintain good indoor air quality.
Now more than ever, you need to make sure that you and your kids breathe clean air. Here are some tips for maintaining indoor air quality:
- Have your HVAC systems maintained regularly. Make sure every filter is always dust-free.
- Opt for cleaning products that have no VOCs and other harmful chemicals.
- Consider taking care of houseplants and place them in areas your small kids can’t reach.
- Keep your house clean by declaring war on dust and pet dander.
- Open the windows every once in a while to let fresh air in.
Prioritize a nutritious but still delicious diet.
Boosting our kids’ immune system in natural ways needs to be a priority in the time of COVID-19. Experts say that the best way to consume vitamins and nutrients is still through a healthy diet. You can get kids to eat healthy foods like vegetables by disguising them in flavor profiles that they already recognize and enjoy. Here are some examples of healthy but yummy meals that you can try to help encourage your kids to enjoy a healthy and nutritious diet: bell pepper nachos, broccoli cheese bread, and zucchini grilled cheese.
Teach your kids about minimum public health standards.
Motivate your kids to build a habit of washing their hands frequently, mask-wearing, and proper social distancing. Remember that the best way for kids to learn is by seeing it from their parents, so walk your talk and show them by example.
Tips to Keep Them Happy
Help them find their passions.
Being in quarantine can be a good time to help them find where their interests lie and what activities make their heart come alive. Guide them through different activities without pushing them to specific ones. Some activities you can try to include gardening, drawing and painting, musical activities like singing and playing an instrument, and reading and writing. They might never know what hobbies and skills they’re passionate about unless they try.
Set some new rules, but talk to them about it.
Being stuck at home with your kids 24/7 is a good time to reinforce some old rules and add some new boundaries. But before you do, explain to them why you need to keep your distance from people. Tell them it’s your way of protecting grandma and grandpa from getting sick. Patiently and lovingly assure them that you will all be okay and that you will find ways to keep them safe, happy, and healthy during the crisis.
Make or Break
This globally traumatic event will make or break the way your kids see the world. If you want them to grow up strong and resilient, then it’s up to you to help make them see that the world is still a beautiful place to live and that you will always have their back no matter what.