How to handle kids irritability issue during lock down?
Lock Down the word that itself gives us a feeling where we are not in control. As a Mind Coach I work with clients day in and day out helping them cope up with anxiety and depression due to lock down. So is it not natural that kids are also getting mentally affected by this whole lock down. They may not show depression or anxiety like adults because their brain has not processed the Idea of being sad yet. The only way they can vent out is by being irritated and angry.
What we as adults, do not realise is that our emotional state has a direct affect on kids. They are constantly observing our reactions to the world and learning from it. So when parents come to me telling me,” My child is bored and irritated all the time”, I ask them, “How about you ? What are your feelings about the lock down?”. Most often the answer is, “Of Course, it’s so boring being home all time”. To this my answer is first let’s set you up right, so you can reflect the right emotions on your kid.
First and foremost let’s start talking about positive things. Instead of saying ,”Lock down is so boring , when can we get out, why do we have to stay locked in etc”. Start saying ,”Lockdown has been difficult, but we are having so much fun, we are getting so much more time together”. As we change our outlook, kids will absorb the new idea for lockdown. Let it be about what is good rather than what is wrong.
Most kids are irritated because they are stuck at home not going out, no friends to play. It’s a good time to start building a friendly relationship with them. Doing simple things they did with their friends like playing cricket or playing dolls or some imaginary games, is a good start to get them to calm down. They are always ready. Question is are we ready to remove that 1 hr of our time to play with them? We spend one hour easily every day on social media either impressing or getting impressed by people who may not matter after 5 yrs. Rather let us spend that one hour with the person who will matter a lifetime, Choice is ours.
Second problem kids have these days is too much TV time. It activates their mind but stopping their interaction . I’m no judge to tell how much TV time to give your children, there are enough articles out there for this. But all i can tell you is make this worth it. Have family movie time, watch some kiddie movies. Its ok to unleash the kid in you. Talk & teach life lessons as you watch. It’s the best learning you can give them.
Another reason for kids being irritable is lack of challenge. Their minds are never calm, always looking for something challenging to keep them occupied. Here are some ideas, create small hurdle races for them at home. Show them something new to do, like a new art work and challenge them to do it. Give them puzzles, word search, sudoku. Play some mind games like rubiks race, sequence, pentago etc. This in turn will activate our minds too.
Physical activity for parents as well as kids is a good stress buster and it definitely releases happy hormones. So have some family yoga sessions or fun dance sessions or just a running race and release those Happy Hormones.
Nature has calming properties utilise them. Observe the pollution free skies. Watch the stars at night, Watch the sunset together, watch nature to relax. We need to understand that it is not the quantity of time you spend kids but the quality of time that matters. Keep your phone aside while you are with them. Tell them your childhood stories.
It is time we stop looking at options to keep them busy and calm but start looking at things to have good family time and keep calm as a family. Let’s move from Boring Lockdowns to perfect times lockdown. Change your perspective to change your kids perception.
Img Source: Forbes