With the lockdown, the entire school and the education system have come at home. Isn’t it a fantastic thing, all the kids are at home but is it really good, are there any concerns? As counselors we are getting to know a lot of things from many parents; their concerns and anxieties. In this episode, Ms. Swati Salunkhe speaks on certain Tips on Parenting During Lockdown.
To start with accepting the reality that the school or education has come home or it is going to be online. So, what we have to do?
To start with stick to the schedule. Let it be a scheduled time table. Be it getting up in the morning or having breakfast; the little things that we used to do before going to work or as well as school. But when it comes to kids be it of any age, be it a child who is in junior KG or middle school, high school, or somebody who is pursuing a degree. The best and the most important thing is starting a schedule and sticking to it. Go by the time table it really helps.
So once the schedule is fixed, next is creating a learning environment. The spaces are different, there are family members and yes there is work from home too especially for parents who are working from home. So, what are we supposed to do? The best is having less distraction especially at the table or the place where the child is sitting. No mobile phones, toys, or storybooks around or no loud music going on. Even if the child is studying in the kitchen it is fine but try to make even that little place clutter-free. It does not mean you need to have a separate room or something different for the child. Wherever the child is studying see to it that there should be less distraction or fewer things around so that the child is focusing on the studies.
You also need to watch out what online education is doing. Sometimes a little bit of peeping is all fine, but a caution to the parents please don’t be sitting around with the child continuously. With our kids growing around there is a natural tendency for getting into different screens or maybe chatting or even playing online games; over there you need to speak to the child openly. Make the child or even the teenager understand the hard effects of getting in this kind of habit. Do not justify any actions. Many parents tell us that “He or She was getting bored, what can we do we need to give them some space.” While we do understand it but a child should not cross any lines. A little bit of peeping around is fine but not continuously. Ensure the child is doing the homework regularly. Do not make it a point or do not even speak about it saying that “Oh we don’t know when the school is going to start.” or “we don’t know whether there are going to be college exams, so why are you studying now?” or it’s ok if you do it later.” That’s a strict no to all the parents in the sense Daily/Regular studies are a must. The school might be for two hours or three hours or maybe coaching/tutoring or online class etc. A child needs to get back to textbooks. The traditional way of learning is also important. Do not give up on reading and writing, the most important aspect. A lot of kids do tell “Oh it is going to be MCQs” But that’s is fine for certain subjects. But the child needs to understand that reading and writing is a must.
Last but not the least, ensure that your child is taking good breaks. By breaks does not mean taking breaks in between the school timings. In between the breaks ensure that the child is doing some kind of physical activity may be just working around the house or having a sandwich or preparing something at home. If not any just walking in and around the house that is also fine. What we need to understand is these days will get over but the emotional and physical aspects or if there is no positivity in it the child will suffer in the long run. So, ensure that the child exercises, it could be any form of exercise it could be walking, cycling, it could be just meditation; the best form or doing some form of yoga asanas, that really helps. But if not, somewhere a physical activity is a must, and most importantly there is no need for the child to play online games, even if the child is bored it is completely okay. Let them understand it is part and parcel of life. We cannot overdo a lot of things because this is a temporary phase; just remember this.