I don't want my children to grow up in a world that they fear or are scared of their surroundings. But I do want them to understand and keep everything in proportion. My eldest boy came home the other day and said 'mum it is a pandemic and everyone is going to get sick'. Words like pandemic, recessions, death and many more are very difficult for children to understand. So what can we do to help them?
- I think it is really important to reassure them that humans have encountered these problems before and we have survived.
- I think it is really important to clarify terms that they do not understand and make sure they tell you what is being said in the playground or on social media (in fact for the older kids who use social media, limit their usage). For example my middle boy came home yesterday and said 'mum all the schools are closing tomorrow'. That is his dream- haha but that was totally wrong
- Eating well needs to be stressed. If we can naturally build our immune system with good healthy food that is one of the best things we can do. I pulled out all my cookbooks over the weekend and started to plan our meals and looked for meals with more vegetables and desserts loaded with fruit. In fact I really liked spending the time doing this as I love to cook. For myself as a mother, providing healthy food for my family is away of loving them and during this time there is going to be lots of loving meals!!
- How our kids act towards others is also important to monitor over this time. Yes it is key to stress social distancing but this does not mean being disrespectful to those that might be unwell or people in general. We need to remind them what it is like to be in another persons shoes.
- Simple hand washing is so important. In fact, it has really helped the boys be a lot more vigilant with hand washing. Prior to this time, I was constantly telling them (unfortunately) after the toilet or before they ate - 'have you washed your hands - yes mum - let me see - go back and wash them'. But it seems now the boys are a lot more obliging when it comes to hand washing. Also I showed them the Nanogirl video on what a virus looks like and how to make our own soaps which was fantastic. The video kept everything light but highlighted the important key messages.
- Also remind kids to cough and sneeze into their elbows and through away old tissues.
- To keep things light, show them the many new ways to greet people. Have a watch of this Mashable video below.
Lastly, how can Munch help you and your family? We are going to take things back to simple. For us that is simply food. Twice a week we will send you out a healthy recipe (and totally easy) along with tips on how to keep your kids spirits up. Sign up here to start receiving these.