Practical Tips on How to Cope as a Family During the Covid-19 Outbreak
Published 05 May 2020 at 05:56
Being cooped up at home for an indefinite period of time and keeping positive, when you and your spouse work from home and need to supervise the children all the time, daily life may become overwhelming for all family members. It seems like the whole world has effectively stopped spinning and the coronavirus outbreak poses lots of tricky questions: how to cope with concerns about your work and finances, stay in the know and look out for yourself and your loved ones, maintain healthy relationships with friends and relatives, home-school children whilst trying to work, maintain good physical and mental wellbeing, vary your family activities and a range of other issues. Remember that children often take their emotional indication about how to behave in particular circumstances from the important adults in their lives, so how you cope with this stress is very important. Many of us feel pretty uncertain about the future, but at the end of the day, this situation is temporary and these concerns will pass.
It has been a busy month for Ruchi Parekh, a life and executive coach, who helps private and corporate clients build an emotional resilience and positive mindset. As her recent coaching sessions have shown, the families came away with clearer thinking, better plans and a deeper understanding of how to deal with the situation during this time of uncertainty. We asked Mrs Parekh to share the relevant information and uplifting guidance to help you look after yourself and your kids.
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“In these exceptional times, most of my daily consultations are about dealing with parents working from home during the pandemic. I believe there are things one can do to mitigate the worst effects of lockdown and social distancing. The first simple advice is to let them be children and give them freedom to be themselves. It may sound odd, but let your children choose play over work. Rules that you followed previously may not work at present – exceptional times call for exceptional measures. We all have enough time during the day to do everything we like. No one is going anywhere, so the kids may as well enjoy it even if the adults are not. Infants and toddlers arguably require the most hands-on care and the most attention, but all age groups come with their own challenges for working parents.
While homeschooling and online learning are still very much on the agenda, don’t force them to study, especially in these unprecedented times. Sometimes they need that little leeway too. No teacher or educator will reprimand a child or parent if the work is not up to the mark or not finished in the given time. Everyone knows and understands these times and will definitely not mind if your child was having a bad day and wasn't in the mood of studying.
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Teens or pre-teens may find the current uncertainty around the pandemic particularly difficult. They have just tasted freedom and suddenly they are stuck in the house with people they wish to be far away from – their parents. Their emotions may lead to increased arguing and even fighting with parents, siblings or other relatives. Be there when they need your support, but try to avoid getting too perturbed if they don’t want to talk to you or stay locked up.
Another thing to talk about is the hours you can work from home while your kids are off school. It’s vital to be proactive and set realistic goals and expectations by your managers and colleagues. If you’re a parent you may need unconventional working hours. Make sure people in your workplace are aware of it, so that your work doesn’t suffer and you can adjust to it. You may also feel scared and helpless about the current situation, and it's absolutely natural to share your concerns with others you trust, and remember that additional support is available if you need it." says Ruchi Parekh.
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Make sure to exercise to ease mind, body and soul
It is important to take a holistic approach to stay healthy, focusing not only on your mental well being, but on your physical health too. Your physical fitness has a big impact on how you feel. Daily exercises are key to keeping fit and staying upbeat. We would recommend trying ProActiv Sports for online classes. They are currently providing free online content/pre-recorded videos to help families stay active and healthy during the Circuit Breaker period which can be accessed through their website or Youtube channel. The fun and engaging sessions for children under 7 years old make PE with Coach Will an absolute highlight. It helps burn energy, improve focus for e-learning and boost the immune system through exercise. Or you could try their ProActiv 8 Challenge sports-specific sessions that are suitable for both kids and adults, where you can improve your skills in various sports and achieve fitness by doing 8 exercises in 8 minutes. It’s hard to compete against Sensei Sean when it comes to Karate online lessons. You can also work up a sweat at Karate, Gymnastics, and Multi-Sports live online sessions.
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Keep kids entertained and happy whilst staying at home
Schools, play centres and landmarks are being forced to close, festivals, fairs and other cultural events have been cancelled, regular school holiday camps have been put on hold. But there are plenty of fun ways to pass the time as a family without leaving the house. In light of this global pandemic, we've selected an outstanding range of fun things to do with kids, where you can find everything to remain entertained, happy and united during these difficult and uncertain times. Discover the range of virtual activities in Singapore, covering everything from dancing, yoga, retro board games, fun Maths apps, animal-filled entertainment, online children's parties to starting a blog.
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Keep child's mind active
In these unsettling times, it would be all too easy to succumb to the temptation to reduce time for learning and give yourself over to housebound lethargy. For our children at different stages of lockdown, now it’s more important than ever to stay occupied and active at home. If your kids are starting to go a little stir crazy, here you will find a selection of the best online learning programmes, live classes and courses for children as an intimation of better days. Equally engaging and fun, your little ones' minds will be in a better place in no time.
By Anna Khan