Positively Engaging Children

These are challenging times for parents. What is important is to keep your cool and not discuss too much in front of the children specially the young ones. Tell them the basics of hygiene and how important it is to follow them.
Till the age of 7-8 this should suffice. You as parents have to keep a close watch on them. If the child is more than 8 years of age you can tell them about the virus and how it spreads. Keep it more academic and less of details about the statistics. They can still get worried. Give them lot of assurance about how it’s preventable.
It’s important we focus on family bonding and should device a family time table with everybody’s role clearly mentioned there. We all understand that our children and old parents both are highly affected in this difficult situation. It’s essential for us to create a balance between these two generations and keep them occupied positively.
It is a good idea to encourage our children to talk to their grandparents over the phone if they stay far away. It’s a win-win situation for all. If they stay with you then you can involve them in keeping the children occupied. They are blessed to have their grandparents living with them.
Tips shares by our PEPP members
• You can use audio books:(https://stories.audible.com/)
• With older children try spring cleaning of the house.
• Storytelling session is one more app in Google play store:
• Try jig saw puzzles with varying levels of difficulty depending on the age of the child. You get from 10 – 3000 pieces.
For kids below 5 or just about 5
• Play dough or atta balls shapes, animals, rolling/cutting might be fun. Even pounding is good time pass with rice puffs, white channa, and beans.
o Could also take it one step further. Ask them to roll real Rotis. Or make dough for cookies and ask them to cut and help you in baking. They feel very proud of the end result.
• Any indoor physical game to tire the kid out.
o Besides water play, jumping, dancing, rolling on the floor, catch me kind of game, hide and seek.
• Teach them by example it’s not a bad idea to press elders feet, give them a little massage. They enjoy it, get tired, plus the elders bless them and love the little hands touch

Options for story telling:
1. Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle are offering their entire catalog free, this month
o Amar Chitra Katha: bit.ly/ACKFree
o Tinkle: bit.ly/TinkleFree

Tips shared by Samunnati:
For children below 5 years
• Engage them in house hold chores like
1. Folding clothes.
2. Peeling onions or even cutting vegetables with a butter knife is fine.
3. Help in making sandwiches or anything where they can spread
4. Mixing for cake. I used to do with my daughter
5. Good time to do some baking together
6. Wash veggies and fruits.
For children around 8-10 years of age
• Can play any number of games.
• Starting with memory games. : Ask them to go around the house looking at things. After a certain time tell them to recollect items under different categories.
1. Like sports items
2. Food items
3. Dressing table items and so on.
For children across age group
• Look at it as bonding time. Spring is in the air. Nature has forced us to look at her bounty. Ask children to identify the different birds that are in plenty now.
• Do the same with flowers. You can download google lens app for this purpose
• Another fun activity I used to do with my children when they were small was to dance. Put on some nice peppy number and dance for an hour with them. Good exercise for all of you. When my children grew up we have done zumba together many a times. Whole family can be involved in zumba or philates.
• Even photo album session is a good activity. All could cherish sweet memories. If you are in a joint family ask them to look at photos with their grandparents.Time to unwind and revisit old memories
• Even mindful meditation is a good idea for children. Colouring is a form of meditation as well.
• A lost skill is embroidery….which could be tried
• Also design your old Denims/ kurta with some nice button, fabric, laces painting.
• Digital detoxification: This is the time we all tend to fall into this trap more than ever. Limit your own screen time. Regulate their screen time too. You can watch a movie together or play an online game together. But don’t let it take up all your time
• Give a topic and asks her to do some online research and write a page. For eg: Russian revolution. This will be relevant for them as a part of school curriculum as well
Question Answer Session
Q: My daughter does the task that I give her only as long as I too am involved in it. She refuses to do it alone and that makes me busier on days when she has holidays. Pease suggest some ways.
This is quite common among single children. Parents tend to take on the role of siblings
What is important is bonding and teaching them to do house hold chores. No better time than this. You can list the chores that need to be done and ask them to choose what they would like to do. Give them a time frame within which you expect them to complete it.
Having said that since she is old enough to understand tell her you can’t be with her all the time. Ask her to contribute towards house hold chores. She can choose what interests her. If she can’t choose tell her you will choose for her. Initially give her a task where you are also involved and then move on to different tasks.
For eg: if you are cooking ask her to cut vegetables or clean the utensils. You are together but doing different chores.
Q: My 14 year old daughter loves outdoor games and because of this lockdown it’s very difficult to keep her engaged please suggest some methods
Many children love out door games and confining them to a limited space can be challenging. For such children as well as children who are otherwise glued to their mobiles and x boxes kinesthetic is important.
If they like dance let them dance to music. Ask them to change the steps. They will love the innovation. Spot exercises are good for children.
Make them do some house hold chores as I said earlier because that is a physical activity. Depending on their age: sweeping, mopping, dusting or hand washing of clothes all are good
This also prepares them to look at house hold work with more respect and they will know it’s important. Children should be made to understand that the domestic helps are doing their job and not the other way round. (https://youtu.be/X3q5e1pV4pc)
Sky is the limit. We could be innovative to handle this tough times more positively. It‘s a great time to spend together as family which we have been always missing so far. Don’t fret over pending chores. Children grow up fast and before you know they are out of home. So enjoy this forced time together to maximum.
We are extremely thank full to all our PEPP members who have shared their creative activities to engage children positively and also made this blog so interesting for all of us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *