Monday 30 November, 2020

COVID-19: How to keep the kids healthy and happy at home

Make your aim connecting with your child, rather than getting them to do things. (Photo: iStock)

Make your aim connecting with your child, rather than getting them to do things. (Photo: iStock)

You’ve probably seen the videos and memes, more and more children are home and they are running amok.

Many parents are already at their wits’ end juggling home life, work life, spouse life, personal life, and life with children at home.

This list is as much as it is for your kids as it is for your sanity/peace of mind.

If you’re dealing with toddlers, we’re all rooting for you; the little ones can be a handful and show very little focus until Peppa Pig or Paw Patrol comes on.

Here are some personal happy and healthy tips as well as a few from The Local it and VeryWellFamily that are sure to help you keep the nerves, anxiety and the spread of the COVID-19 at bay during these trying times.

If you’re in the dumps about home-schooling, Spark Education exec Brittany Singh-Williams will be hosting an hour-long virtual coworking session courtesy of CoWork Ja.

Tomorrow, between the hours of 2:30 – 3:30 pm, find out her homeschooling tips. But, first, register for the session here.

Healthy tricks

  • Remind your kids of the importance of washing their hands, they love to play with soap and water anyway, now is the time to put some fun into it.
  • Keep the sanitizer out of reach, but pull it out every chance you get to start a habit of sanitizing, especially after playing with toys/gadgets or interacting with touchpoints.
  • Clean and sanitize everything! Though it is best to do this before their day starts and during periods where they’re not in use, ensure that it is done regularly.
  • Depending on how you run your household, there may be instances where your child/ward will not ask to get something from the refrigerator or to turn on a switch, etc; keep them as safe as possible by simply spraying high-touch surfaces regularly with a bottle of alcohol or disinfectant/sanitiser of choice. Two sprits at least three times/day should be sufficient.
  • Start the day with fruits and water before breakfast as best as you can.
  • Try as you might, kids may not remember to cough into their hands. So listen out for coughs and provide them with sanitiser until the next wash.
  • Be on the lookout for anxiety or stress in your child/ward with homework, tests, social pressures — kids can face a lot of stressful situations every day. Research shows that stress and anxiety can have a negative impact on kids' health, just like it can on the health of adults. Find out how to spot the symptoms of stress in your child and find ways to manage his/her anxiety.

Find more healthy tips at

Happy tips

  • Make a roster and keep them busy or you’ll regret it. Add items like nap time, playtime, time outdoors, and segments for fun learning activities. Going outdoors can be something all family members can take on to break from the e-Book/laptop and breathe some fresh air as well.
  • Be patient with yourself, be patient with your child/ward. There’s no manual to parenting, except an unspoken rule to be kind and patient.
  • Be attentive, listen keenly and do your best to keep your kids as comfy as possible.
  • Stay away from hard news that is likely to trigger some kind angst or confusion in the household. This will spread quicker than COVID-19 and is likely to affect everyone’s psyche, whether you know it or not.
  • Start with what interests them – school presents a curriculum to children which they have little choice about. At home, they have more choice and they frequently refuse, right? So start with what fascinates them. Follow their questions and do some research. Top topics in one home this week was how viral DNA works, travel restrictions in WW2, how glue works, the French revolution and how to decorate wooden boxes. No question is too trivial.
  • Focus on connectionmake your aim connecting with your child, rather than getting them to do things. This is a strange and unusual time for everyone. Make time to do special things together. Have a family movie night, turn the lights off, cuddle up under the duvet and watch it all together. Bake a cake and have a tea party. Lay the table and dress up, make it an occasion!
  • Participate in their activities rather than trying to persuade them to do something else. If they resist all your suggestions, stop making them. Instead, join them in doing what interests them. If that’s Lego, then you do Lego too. If it’s painting, have a go. If it’s video games, ask them if you can play too. Learn how to play Minecraft or Fortnite. You might be surprised at how much you enjoy it.
  • Sing like no one is listening – singing makes us feel good. Sing songs with your children, even if you think you can’t sing. The Quarantine Choir on YouTube has short videos to teach you to sing a song. meets weekly for people all over the world to sing together over the internet.

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