Digital Parenting while Quarantining

The Novel Coronavirus pandemic has brought us ordeals that we have all had to endure. But with parents being forced to work from home and take care of their newborns and toddlers, the ordeal went up a notch. Not only has it affected the working parents but the stay-at-home parents too. Since with children and the other members of the house being around 24/7, parents are deprived of their "me time". 

Though one might think it's coming to an end now, with cafes, shops, and borders reopening, but being prepared has never been a bad decision.

Here are some tips to help you combine efficient parenting and handling your work, while surviving through the pandemic.

1. MAKE SPACE FOR LEARNING

With every member being in quarantine, it's hard for the children to have a personal space for learning and doing something productive. So, create a space solely devoted to learning.  Ideally, this will be a different set-up than where they normally play games or watch television. Keep in mind that you teach things to your toddlers in a fun way so that they can understand that learning can be fun too.

2. EASE UP ON COUNTING SCREEN TIME MINUTES

We know it's a normal thing in every house to decide the screen time given to kids, but these are odd and hard times. 

Don’t try to enforce your usual tech time limits. Instead of focusing on time spent online, focus on the purpose of the connection. Are the kids learning something productive through a fun video? 

As long as they are balancing passive media use with active and productive interactions, it may be best to let them be. A little extra mindless entertainment during stressful times is permissible.

3. KEEP IT OLD SCHOOL

Although the previous point focused on cutting some slack over the strict screen time, overuse can have adverse impacts on young brains, so it’s essential in these special circumstances to be extra careful when it comes to the little ones. 

Studies show that the way a toddler is educated in the initial stage of their lives frames their future understanding. Furthermore, no matter how advanced technology becomes, the feeling and value of reading and studying from a hard copy is something else. So, as much as possible, parents should encourage print and book reading.

Try getting hold of books that are figurative, colourful and fun to look at in order to grab your kids' attention. Stimulate self-expression by having discussions with your children about what they are doing, and also encourage imaginative storytelling.

4. DON’T FORGET TO HAVE FUN

Although this is not a vacation and education of the kids is really important, make sure that your child takes plenty of breaks in order to get physical activity and time away from screens. Constant screen work can make anyone lethargic and as for toddlers, it is really important for them to indulge in physical activities as much as possible because it is their growing age.

5. COMMUNICATION

You don’t want your children to feel socially isolated, but at the same time, you want to protect them from becoming reliant on their devices. It is recommended that you spend time with them, play and do something productive.

Plan off-screen activities for the whole family. Between school and work obligations, it’s rare for parents and children to have this much time together, so turn it into an opportunity for bonding.

Organize games to play with your kids, go with them on bicycle rides, teach them how to ride and other fun stuff. Follow your community’s guidelines about safe behaviour and events, of course, but make sure you still find time for fun with your kids.

6. BE EMPATHETIC

None of us are used to everyone in the family being home this much. Remember that this is stressful for everyone. They are watching their parents be home in a way that is not usual, so questions are bound to be asked. The load on you is a lot, as a parent and a worker but understand that you need to be calm so you don't inflict negativity on your children especially at this age. Work on how to be calm and non-toxic and cut yourself some slack too. There are still a lot of unknowns. We completely understand parents wanting to enforce a daily schedule, including homeschooling activities, but remember what they really need from you is to be a huge support system.

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