Kids have this knack for leaving you flummoxed with their questions. And damn! Do they ever ask one question? No!
They’ll ask one, then another, then another, then another…
You can’t avoid them. NO CHANCE. Whatever you’re doing, you have to put it on hold and listen to their queries. They’ll keep bugging you until you satisfy them.
But, there’s this thing about their questions; sometimes they are so deep that you have to give them a deep, hard thought.
It is very important to answer their questions in a careful and considerate manner. Your words shape their understanding of that issue. So, being evasive with your answers is only going to confuse them further.
You have to break it down in the simplest terms for their inchoate minds to comprehend.
These days, our lives have been disrupted by the COVID-19. People are locked at home, kids can’t go to schools, and parents are working from home.
It is very normal for kids to notice these anomalies and question them. It is on us – the parents – to answers their questions and put their little minds at ease.
I sat my kids down and talked to them about the virus, its repercussions, and the measures we must take to keep ourselves safe.
They had a lot of questions, and this blog is about those questions and how parents can try answering those questions:
Why can’t I go out to play?
Social distancing guidelines have forced us into our homes. Social gatherings have become non-existent, and businesses have been closed.
My younger daughter wanted to know why is she not allowed to go out, or why can’t we go to the park or go out to eat pizza.
I explained to her how the virus could spread when people come in close contact with each other. I also told her that parks and schools had been closed to protect other people and us.
Kids need to be explained that the lockdown and social distancing guidelines are in place for their safety. As a parent, it’s your job to tell them the facts without making it too scary.
When can I go back to school?
My younger daughter hasn’t quite understood as to why she has been bestowed with this long vacation. She told me that she misses her school, her friends (not the studies), and want to go back.
I had to tell her that schools have been closed to keep her and her friends safe. It is important to be 100% honest with kids and not give them any false hopes.
As for now, no one is sure when things are going to get better. So, don’t lie to them that “it will all get better soon.” Tell them that it will take some time, and till then, they would have to stay at home.
Since my daughter was particularly sad about not being able to see her friends, what I did was that I arranged a virtual meet up for her.
I called her friends’ parents and suggested that kids should have a meet up on Zoom. Gladly, my idea worked, and my daughter was overjoyed to meet her friends.
Now, we have made it a weekly thing.
As virtual is a new reality, parents can arrange for kids to have a video call with friends and cousins. Get your family and friends on a video call, and you can have a socially-distanced family get together.
Why do I have to wash my hands so much?
Kids are not a big fan of hygiene.
They like to play in the dirt, put things into their mouth, and they want to create a mess. So naturally, when I ask my daughter – numerous times a day – if she has washed her hands, she frowns!
Now, I have made her understand why it is important to wash hands and how it protects us against the virus.
Making kids wash their hands for 20 seconds is the toughest task I had to do during the quarantine.
So, I made it a fun activity. I made them sing while washing their hands. Every time the kids come to the washbasin to wash their hands, they sing a song for 20 seconds.
Kids are finding it hard to make sense of this routine. So, as parents, we must try to comfort them. The best way to do it: make everything a fun activity.
What if we get sick?
These are probably the biggest question on the kids’ minds. More than themselves, they are worried about their loved ones getting sick.
When my daughter learned that older people are more susceptible to the virus, she got concerned about her grandparents.
Parents need to assure the kids that they are doing everything to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.
Explain to them that social distancing, hand washing, staying at home, all are meant to keep us safe. However, don’t tell them that your family is completely safe.
Reassure them that health care workers out there are doing everything they can to treat people and take care of them.
Keep a compassionate tone when telling all this to your kids. Give them comfort and honestly answer their questions regarding the pandemic.
Keep their minds busy
With kids spending all their time at home, they are bound to get bored far more often. So, it is important to keep them engaged in fun activities.
It is also a great time to discover your child’s interest and make him/her learn new things. There are plenty of games that both kids and parents can play to have some quality family time.
For example, every day, I spend time with my kids, playing with their toys or drawing pictures with them. We also watch cartoons together and have fun while working in the kitchen.
So, find new ways to engage with your kids. Play games with them, talk to them, and tell them that things will get better.
This is the only way to make sure that our kids don’t worry too much about the pandemic.