It’s been over 10 months our kids have been at home. Parents all over commonly express how this phase has particularly been hard. It’s been tough to manage with no play dates, no summer camp, no park time or external activities or play areas. I also initially struggled with this. However, on a day when my husband and I both were irritable, we saw our son’s resilience shining through.
We should acknowledge that our kids are going through much worse than us. In our 30’s we are craving social companionship, dying to meeting our friends and family. Imagine what kids (with limited ways to express themselves) are feeling then? When we were children, could we imagine not meeting our friends for months, not interacting with our classmates and being with our parents 24/7? We can afford to cut our children some slack.
My son’s school online classes keep him occupied for a part of the day. He spends some time on homework from school. We encourage him to play new games (board games and our own variations of traditional ones), pick up life skills (household chores, fireless cooking etc.) and relax with fun movies or books. Here are some tips that I picked up along the way –
Don’t overdo the activities – I recall the bombardment of DIY activities, worksheets when the lockdown began. I myself noted a few of them to keep him productively engaged. While some is good make sure not to overdo it. Some free time enhances children’s Meals, online classes etc. are non-negotiable but in addition to these try to fit in fun activities that your kid enjoys like board games, video games etc.
Listen to your children – Listening is even more crucial now when they have no one else to talk to. Allow your kids to ask the most outrageous questions and patiently listen to what they have to say. Look for non-verbal cues of communication. Let them explain what’s going on, paying extra attention to their tone and choice of words. If needed repeat what they say so that they know you have been paying attention. They need this to reassure them we are always there.
Slow down –We now we have the luxury to slow down and soak it all in. The bedtime stories can be a little longer. We can admire the illustrations in picture books and look for things we missed earlier. We can re-watch some of the favorite movies and pause and discuss what’s actually going on. For a change, we are in no rush to complete assignments and can practically implement what we have learnt.
Let them plan the day –Let the child decide what he or she wants to do when but structure such that it syncs with your schedule. When you have to work they can do independent activities. During your down time, you can do activities together. Screen time may go up but make sure it is age appropriate viewing and spread out through the day. Try to introduce some basic physical activities like jumping on the trampoline, dancing or simple PE to keep them physically active.
The idea is to use this time to engage in effective parenting that promote a closer bond with children. Think about what you want your children to remember if they are faced with a crisis like this in their lifetime.
Parenting will always be a mixed bag. While there’s certainly a lot of joy involved, it does get overwhelming at times. Not every day is the same. It’s important not to be too hard on yourself if one day you don’t feel like doing anything at all. Everyone needs a break occasionally. While baby commercials and social media posts paint a rosy picture, the less than camera-ready moments are different and often the more fulfilling.
Share in comments below how you have managed with your kids in these challenging times.
This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla, and happily SPONSORED BY RRE Studios and SHOWCASE Events.
53 thoughts on “The true heroes – Kids in lockdown”
The title is so apt Prerna. Our kids are the super heroes. It may sound ironical but with limited life experience, they have experienced a lot during this pandemic. Yesterday only, I was having the same conversation with one of my friends about how kids have shown so much of maturity. I have four year old and at this age, he is at his highest energy level. But not even once, he asked me why we are not going to any bouncy house. They are very much content with whatever options they are getting at home.
So true – love how maturely they have handled this phase. Truly impressed by their attitude.
An interesting and informative post. Yes, lockdown had created many problems at different levels of society, apart from losing life and livlihood, self isolation itself had been a problem. Different people had used the time differently. Some for personal development, others for quality family time. Yes kids are more affected by lockdown. It is important to talk to them, device innovative games to engage them, rather than immersing on computer or TV all the time.
Very well said. I strongly feel it was a tough phase for all especially our little ones.
During the lockdown, I was at home in Mumbai and I saw my sister doing all these things which you have written above. And mostly we need to cherish the time we are getting now to spend with the kids!
Thanks – I’m glad you thought so.
i completely agree with you and feel the same way for my girls who are inside since long months and did not make much complain about it. indeed our kids are super hero during this hard time . loved your tips. indeed parenting is all about balancing multiple things from teaching them new things to taking a pause and let them do things in their won ways.
I’m so glad that this post resonated with you. Parenting is hard yet the most rewarding!
I myself had problems during the lockdown. Struck at home mad me go mad. Can’t imagine what it would be to be a child in those conditions. We have to give them benefit of doubt when we are angry with them.
So true Ruchita – it was a testing time for all especially the little ones.
Some times I wonder is it right to curse digitization / technology as during lockdown it is definitely proved to be our best friend and a boon which brought us closer. Kids did have tough time but they are the smartest to use this technology for their benefit.
Very true – I personally think technology is a boon when used in moderation, productively and in an age appropriate manner.
Listening to your kids is very important it gives them the confidence to confide into you and trust you specially in todays time with the parents tending to over burden the kids with online classes and online activities.
Very well said. I believe in looking out for verbal and non-verbal cues.
I absolutely loved this title and your blog. Very well chalked out pointers as well. 🙂
Thanks Payal – I’m glad you found it relatable.
Honestly speaking it was a tough time for me. But then I focused on the things where they needed to improve like reading, writing. Also tried to engage them with some board games,drawing which they never liked earlier. And yes this was a great opportunity to teach them some life skills, chores.etc. A mixed experience can say, sometimes things worked, sometimes not…Glad the year passed at last.
I know what you mean Sonia and we have all been through a similar journey. Hopefully schools will open soon!
Absolutely agree with your title and your post. My 3 year old grandson has to sit for online classes and he hates it. He used to beg me to take him out but I couldn’t. Only good thing was i got to spend time with them as they were stuck here in India during the lockdown
Aww thats so good. You got to spend extra time with him. It’s so precious.
This lockdown has been particularly hard on kids and elders who aren’t able to move about freely. Sometimes we forget that they too have adjusted so well to the situation. The points you have made are quite valid, it is not important not to overdo things or pressurize kids.
You are so right! It’s important to realize that this phase is tough for all.
completely agree with you and feel the same way for my girls who are inside since long months and did not make much complain about it. indeed our kids are super hero during this hard time .
That’s so right!
So true Prerna. The lockdown and the aftermath have affected the kids the most. Online classes too are by no means easy to adjust to. For kids and adults alike. I am sure the tips you suggested would help all the parents out there. Sometimes we just need to let them be.
You are right Ritu.
Definitely our kids are heroes. We all are struggling to adjust with this situation. You have mentioned some Interesting points to engage kids. I agree with you that let them plan their day and don’t overdo the activities.
Yes Abha – very well put!
Everything in life is more focussed on the gleeful camera it is important to emphasise on the rougher side of the journey.
Everyone shows up only the gleeful camera moments it is important to emphasise on the rougher side of the journey.
Yes the actual reality is far from what we see!
I completely agree with you Prerna, although we have been talking a lot about how hard 2020 has been for us adults, kids are equally affected and yet they have managed to swim across this new normal. I have a 7-year-old daughter who is hyperactive, loves to go out, initially it was difficult but gradually we defined a routine that helped us.
True priyanka. My son is exactly the same but has braved through it all!
when lockdown started i also got a whole folder of 100 ebooks and worksheets. and everyday when we took out one of those my son would run away. He did not like them, so we finally ended up doing lot of play and learn rather than worksheets. and too many pretend plays are still going on.
I enjoy role play games – so much learning involved!
That’s so true. Prerna Kids are the ones who have shown a tremendous amount of patience even till now. As a mother, the same question always rose to my mind whenever I ask my kids to limit the time on PS4; without realizing that more than the PS4 game, he was delighted to have a verbal conversation with his friends during the game. Then at some point, I decided to stretch my flexibility. Indeed our kids were the real heroes in lockdown.
Yes these times call for some flexibility and patience on our part.
It is right to slow down, Well it MUST BE A JOY to have kids and parents at home together, relish the time spent. Truly the kids are the heroes, they have been patient, but if you realise, this is all they wanted .. to spend time with their parents. Nevertheless, the peer group is missing, hopefully things would be better and our heroes would be back on track.
Srishti you are so right!
The is so true . Our kids are the super heroes. They have shown amazing
mental strength during this pandemic. They are very much content with whatever options they are getting at home.
That’s right Jyoti. Our kids have been true heroes.
It will be good to engage in the most reliable activities which are really made for their practical learning.
That’s right Bhawna!
Yes Prerna, I totally agree with you. The amount of resilience these kids showed is just awesome I would say.
This is a great post, loved the way you wrote this, as they are the only heroes these days. They have behaved so well and handled this situation as needed.
So true nehal.
Firstly Prerna, I agree with you 100%
Our little kids have been the true and greatest heroes, adjusting and living in the lockdown like a pro. Even as we adults, went through a rage of emotions, these little ones found their joy even in tiniest aspects of lives.
now, coming to the blog, I believe you have penned wonderfully. I remember when the activity sheets became more of a routine for us rather than being an enjoyable activity. It was only when, Ayaansh told me he doesn’t want to do them anymore, it stuck me how he must have felt bombarded with those sheets. Even listening to our kids or choosing them to plan the day proved to be a relaxing quotient during the lockdown. Once again, such valid points reminding us of the stringent lockdown times,
I am so glad this resonated with you Amritha!
They’re definitely the heroes I initially found it difficult but later adapted and let it go by the flow an aim now enjoying my time with kids
True that Sindhu.
Amazing blog post you have shared here. Keep sharing such amazing and useful blog posts with us. We would love to read your upcoming blogs. Thank you for the post.