Should the government act like our parents?
Every child reacts individually to stress or strain. Insecure children can feel uncomfortable or tired, react restless, nervous or fearful. You may be irritable, aggressive, or otherwise "different" than usual. Your appetite or concentration may decrease, or your sleep and sleep routines may be changed. Some children can show behaviors that are actually no longer appropriate to their level of development: They are particularly clingy, react strongly to farewell or separation situations, or speak in baby language again. Sometimes children can rewet or poop again. Other physical symptoms such as nausea, abdominal pain, or headache may also occur.
What can help children?
- Try to be there for your child. It is often of great help to have a trusted caregiver close by.
- A structured daily routine with fixed sleeping and eating times provides stability and security. Make sure that the familiar is retained as far as possible, and now keep agreements and promises particularly reliably.
- As far as possible and taking into account the latest information on contact with other people: Make sure that your child is able to do some physical activity (cycling, playing ball, etc.) and can also spend time in the fresh air. Eating a healthy diet is always important right now.
- Create periods when your child can relax and just play.
- Protect your child from consuming too much coverage. Being confronted with certain images and descriptions over and over again does not help and can unsettle you, even yourself.
- If your child would like to sleep in your bed again, this can make perfect sense - if it is feasible for you and your family.
How do I explain the situation to my child?
Support your child with care and patience. Give him the opportunity to process the current situation and adapt to it.
- Talk to your child about the current situation. Listen carefully and patiently when they tell of impressions, even if they are repeated.
- If your child asks questions, answer them honestly. Speak openly if you don't know something yourself. You can then decide together who can give you the answer you want.
- Communicate facts and explain what is currently going on. Give your child clear, understandable and age-appropriate information, for example about how to prevent infection. This may include discussing what to do if a family member or the child shows signs of illness. Also explain what will be done to help those affected and prevent the pathogen from spreading further.
- Explain to your child why visits to friends, grandparents or other caregivers may not be possible at the moment.
- If you are stressed or worried, do not hide your own dismay; speak openly about it. Help your child understand why you are reacting the way you do.
How do I support my child in quarantine at home?
The quarantine is a protective measure. But it can also be a burden, especially if there are children living in the household who can no longer go to kindergarten or school or who should be separated as far as possible from other people living in the household.
- Explain the current situation to your child in age-appropriate terms and explain why certain measures need to be carried out at the moment.
- Explain to your child why visits from friends, grandparents or other caregivers are currently not possible. Enable your child to interact with these caregivers (for example via telephone, internet and social media). Having the opportunity to use video calling can increase the feeling of contact and community.
- Create a daily structure, especially because the routines of attending kindergarten or school are currently no longer necessary. For example, plan fixed meal times, times to study or play. Include your child in the planning. Fixed times to find out about the current situation can also be part of it.
- Respond to meal requests. Ask neighbors and friends to run errands for you and bring toys if necessary.
- Contact the school: they often provide work materials that can be worked on at home.
- Children have a different experience of time than adults. For example, paint a calendar and - similar to an Advent calendar - cross off every day of the quarantine so that the time span becomes more tangible for your child.
- Even if there is no adequate substitute for the playground or playing outdoors: Allow your child to move around. Exercise can relieve tension and stress. In a limited space, room trampolines, rubber twists or skipping ropes can help.
- Try relaxation exercises with your child. Suggestions and tips especially for children can be researched on the Internet.
- Offer your child the opportunity to be mentally active, for example by reading, writing or doing puzzles.
- Even if you can only restrict physical contact with your child to a limited extent: Explain to him why you are reducing it, for example in relation to your partner, and what this is for.
- Maintain a positive attitude: This can also be transferred to your child and conveys confidence and security.
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