PREPARE YOUR KIDS TO FIGHT AGAINST CORONA VIRUS
This is a True Story about my friend Meena, she is very ambitious happy woman living with her husband and two kids in Gurgaon. Everything is going perfect in her life, husband is working in an MNC, she is working as a finance consultant with a bank and two kids one son name Arnav and one daughter Siya age 10 years and 3 years respectively.
Suddenly one day due to Corona this Lockdown announced and from that very day her trouble starts…means no maids, no outings, no kids schools, outdoor activities, etc. On top of it work from home was continuing as usual for both husband and wife. As I said earlier, she is very ambitious women, so she accepted this new change in life and still trying to adjust her life like others.
Now as the time passed and Lockdown is getting over, life is becoming more tuff for her, so now she & her husband have to join an office with still no support of the maids and as Schools & DayCare is also in lockdown so there is no place where she can leave her kids, so she decided to work from home for some time but as she hearing a lot of news from several resources she is getting worried for her work and her children. In this situation, she called me, as I am running Chain of Pre-Schools & Formal school in India, so she wants to take the advice from the expert who can guide her not just as a school owner but a mother also of a young Boy.
She was having several questions in her mind, which I think is very common among all the mothers, so I thought to share them all with you, so your anxiety can also be taken care off.I am explaining our conversation in question & answer format, for your comfort
Meena: My daughter is in Nursery class in a Pre-School, should I allow her to attend online classes, is it safe as I heard Screen Time is not good for small kids
Anu: Learning for a child is as important as food for their body. Neuroscience had proven that a child’s brain gets developed 90% in the first 5 years and during this time child creates blueprints in her mind based on her learning from the environment. So, at home, if a child is hearing everything negative, panic, and no quality learning then, she will make her blueprint like that. For all these a child needs structured learning which can only come based on well researched & crafted methods, which due to lack of time & knowledge even educated mothers can’t give. So, if a child is doing interactive sessions with her teacher & school friends is very good because, in that 45 minutes, she will get proper learning where she can express herself, learn the things while others sharing and in a more playful manner develop her mind more constructively.
Screen Time of 45 minutes to 60 minutes for a child of this age is absolutely not an issue if it is face to face interaction with the educator wherein they enjoy singing rhymes, storytelling, doing yoga, and other physical activities.
Meena: I am hearing that government is about to start schools in August for sr. kids and gradually open for younger once also. I am not comfortable to send my kids to school till the COVID 19 vaccine will be available
Anu: Being a mother myself I can understand her pain, but I tried to explain to her that sending the child to school or not does mean that my child will be safe at home. We all know that lot of Pharma companies worldwide working on developing the vaccine, so if this will be ready to execute on humans by November/December also then also it will take 6 -12 months to complete the vaccination in PAN India/Global. So, till then will you keep your child locked at home, I am sure your answer will be NO because it’s not possible, so what is the solution, we need not be fearful with this CORONA, we need to be well aware of the remedies and need to fight so that this should not impact our family. We have to work with all the touchpoints with whom our children will be involved like liftman, a maid at home, gardens, drivers, schools, etc.
Among all, I can say that schools will maintain a very high hygienic level, to make sure that every staff member and kids remain safe. So, being parents sending your child to school or not is secondary first as a parent we should check at what level your child’s school is ready to fight against Corona, what measures they have taken, what guidelines they will follow and what are their process. In case you feel like to add in that I am sure every school will welcome those suggestions.
Believe you me “No School will be interested in Open their buildings if it comes to well-being of their staff & kids because we all are humans first then anything else later and for that, you have to trust your school & educators because we all our Parents at all levels”
Meena: Ok I agree that we cannot make our kids sit at home endlessly and need to make them ready to fight but my daughter is too small how will I make her learn to keep wearing a mask and maintain social distancing
Anu: Yes, I agree that wearing Mask and maintaining physical distancing is important to prevent ourselves from this virus but thinking that this will be too difficult for the age group of Pre Schoolers is not true. When a child comes to a Play School, he/she does not know toilet habits, don’t know how to eat with Spoon/fork, sharing habits etc., we at school with trained educators make them learn all this because as I explained earlier 90% of child's brains get developed during the first 5 years and by seeing the things around they learn the things quickly.
Making a child used to with Mask is important and the practice of the same should start from home first
Meena: How can you make a child use to a mask can you please explain
Anu: Kids are best storytellers; we can make them use to of this mask in the following ways.
1. Kids are small and might get scared if they see someone wearing these masks, so ideally, we should start practicing by wearing masks for some time at home, so they feel comfortable and make them normally.
2. Sit with them and ask them to decorate their masks with some color pens or other craft material, this will help them to get involved with the mask and in a fun way, they will showcase their mask to all by wearing it
3. All kids love to play Doctor - Doctor, so make them wear the mask and let you become their patients and while playing explain to them why doctors use to wear a mask(to safeguard themselves from the germs & Viruses)
- Take a spray bottle with thick color and spray the color from a distance on a white sheet, this way you can explain how the germs travel if someone sneezes. So, this mask will save them.
- If anyone coming at home like the driver, Gardner, maid you always ask your child to open the door along with you by wearing the mask, so this habit makes them learn that if we have to meet anyone from outside then wearing the mask is very important.
Meena: Thanks, Anu explaining this I will surely do this with Siya but how will you make children learn about Social Distancing
Anu: Thanks Meena, yes this will be a great challenge for all of us, schools as well as mothers because either kid will go to school or will go to playgrounds and they don’t know how to manage physical distancing with adults and not to touch their Mouth, Eyes & Nose. This we have to make them learn in a very playful manner. For eg make wearable hats and place stick balloons/animal shapes like a lion, deer, etc, in a playful manner if we explain to them that they have to make sure that other hat animals should not touch your hat animal.
Another way is to let them measure with one arm distance, there one arm and another person’s one arm is the distance good with physical distancing. We cannot sit and wait that the child will catch the virus only from school but at home also he can get effected, so better to make the child learn so that he/she can become the Corona Warrior.