How to Help Kids Cope with Disappointment and Cancelled Plans due to COVID-19
The current pandemic has brought out the most innovative side of people facing lockdowns. The bad part has been abandoning vacations and get-togethers. Parents must encourage kids to tide over this disappointing situation.
COVID-19 has come with changes that kids have never experienced before. The lockdown may worry them since they may not grasp the seriousness of the situation. Also, pre-planned holidays and engagements have to be cancelled. This is bound to be disappointing for the little ones. Here we will discuss how to help kids cope with disappointment and other behavioural problems.
How Children may Respond to Pandemic Lockdown
Kids are having a tough time because they are not able to comprehend the complete import of the current situation. They may react in unusual ways during this period.
- Kids may go into a shell and turn unusually reticent
- They may get restless and create a disturbance
- They may have crying spells
- Potty-trained children may start bed-wetting
- They may throw tantrums
Understand that your baby is observing you and the changes. They are not comfortable with these. Yet they cannot express all their emotions and fears properly. That justifies these behavioural problems. As an adult and a parent, you are expected to look behind the problem and deal with the source of the issue. Start by controlling your anxiety.
How to Help Kids Cope with Disappointment and Stay Positive
1. Acknowledge and share the disappointment together.
Allow your child to feel and express their emotion. Assure them that this is normal, and you share the same feeling. Don’t jump too quickly to feeling better. Don’t sermonise against negative emotions.
2. Help them plan strategies to move on in such times.
After your child unburdens themselves, help them take it forward from there. Ask them the advantages of being at home. Encourage them to look for activities they want to take up during a stay-at-home holiday. Sometimes the children might themselves tell about their coping strategies such as board games or music or journaling.
3. Help the very young to stop tantrums and calm down.
Tantrums occur when your child is feeling emotionally disturbed but is not able to express it. Practise prevention or distract them before things go out of hand. Stay calm and try to use humour to dissipate the tension. Gently but firmly undo the frustration by talking things out. Give a time-out only if absolutely necessary. Discussing the tantrum with the child, later on, is one sure way of avoiding it next time.
4. Strategise a new normal for these times with them.
Inspire them to chalk out a new stay-in routine. Sit down and plan the new structure together. Ask for their suggestions. Encourage them to plan for all the schoolwork, chores and activities. Motivate them to plan one interesting event per day of the week such as a movie night every Friday and a game night every Tuesday.
5. Plan varied activities to keep them engaged.
Make chores a family time. Distribute chores based on the basic attribute of the child. Trust them with the work given and let them be responsible for it. Consider putting on music during chore time. The whole family pitching in for various chores at the same time will be interesting for your child too. Try baking and gardening with them.
6. Use digital technology to advantage.
Take up home-based physical activities such as dancing and yoga videos. Check out some of the family exercise videos on YouTube. Connect virtually to extended family and friends. If your child can have a video call with grandparents, cousins or friends, they will not feel cut-off. Be open to using devices for time-together such as watching movies or playing games.
It is a hard time for most of us. But it is not tough to figure out how to help kids cope with disappointment and boredom. If you remain patient and convince them of unconditional love and understanding, they will sail through this difficult time.