Lockdown is an unstable time for many. For us adults, as we navigate our way through being in lockdown with our whānau, while juggling our work-life from home and having to manage the day to day running of our households. It comes without the convenience of the outside world. But it is also an unstable time for our tamariki.
Our tamariki are suddenly staying at home. Not leaving unless it is for daily walks in their local neighbourhood. Children download everything that is happening in their environment all the time. So, if we are stressed or anxious, then they will pick up on this and it may activate them to become stressed or anxious too. At the end of the day, it is up to us as adults to decide what the bubble we are living in will be like. We have the opportunity to make lockdown a memorable adventure for our tamariki. Here are some tips to navigate your way through lockdown with your tamariki and to reduce their stress levels :
Wait until your child goes to bed to watch the news updates or perhaps use headphones so they can’t hear the doom and gloom of the news. Constant news updates can exasperate stress.
Limit screen time:
As tempting as it is to let your child spend hours on the screen because it keeps them occupied. It is important to limit this as much as possible. If children are on a screen for hours on end they won’t be having the opportunity to develop their physical skills, problem solving abilities or developing their social skills through interactions with their loved ones.
Have fun planning your days with your children. Find out what adventures at home they would like to do. Perhaps it is building huts inside on a rainy day or picnics in the backyard on sunny days.
Enjoy the great outdoors as much as possible. We all know that when toddlers become a little fractious, they begin to calm down when they are in nature and have their toes connected to Papatuanuku.
Play Play Play:
Our tamariki are young for such a short time and now we have this opportunity to play and connect with them without distractions of having places to be. Through being available to them through their play, they will feel a strong sense of belonging and knowing that you are anchoring them as their secure base.
These are just some simple ideas to help you to limit your child’s stress levels in such an unpredictable time. Perhaps you would like to document your adventures with photos so you can look back on how you created happy memories within your bubble during these crazy times.
- Karen Trowill, Regional Leader, Gisborne