The Metro Manila community quarantine is in effect and one of its directives is that schools are suspended in all levels until April 12, 2020. This means that most students in Metro Manila are either in an online homeschooling situation or get their summer break early. Having the kids home during these infectious times is a relief, but it can also push everyone’s patience and sanity to the limits.
Being stuck at home with only their parents and no friends or play dates to look forward to can also be hard for our kids. So here are a few simple ways on how we can support them and give them a feeling of stability during these uncertain times:
Being home is not an excuse to just let them have a free rein on their activities throughout the day. Instead, we can still set them on a routine. Doing so will provide them with a sense of structure and also safety, giving them the chance to accomplish their home study tasks (if they still have them) or even learn.
Incorporating their regular routines — such as bed time and meal times into their new community quarantine schedule can also help them focus and let them feel that they are still in control. At the same time, getting enough sleep will also help them in their psychological, physical, and academic development.
Setting family schedules can also help everyone accomplish their tasks, especially if you are also working from home or dealing with household chores.
Social connection is also necessary for human survival and while this may be hard to do during a community quarantine, we can still help our kids find ways to go about it. Some things we can do include setting up and doing virtual activities such as virtual playdates, virtual book clubs or virtual movie dates. Allowing them to interact with kids in any way possible can help them deal with the isolation typically felt during quarantines.
Ensure that they know that they are not alone
Kids might be ok at the start of the community quarantine but its novelty can wear off quickly as well. Soon, they might be bouncing off the walls looking for new activities, new experiences, and even new people to interact with. You can help them deal with it by assuring them that you are with them.
Aside from getting bored, other “normal” emotional responses to crises such as this include fear, anger, guilt, humiliation, shame, guilt, grief, and sorrow. Kids (and even us) might feel these at different times and that’s ok. And instead of getting angry with them or dismissing their feelings, we can better help them by reminding them that everyone else — including their friends, classmates, and teachers might be feeling these as well. And teach them the importance of empathy, shared experiences within the community, and even compassion for others.
These may be trying times for everyone, but keep strong, mamas. This too shall pass 💪🏽