With the advent of self-isolation in our lives, parents are faced with another serious problem: the child is eager to go outside, despite all the prohibitions. And if it is still possible to explain to the kid why today we will not go to the sandbox, then with older children, especially with teenagers, everything is much more complicated. What to do? How to cope with a situation when you are worried about the health of all household members?
Why the child does not want to self-isolate
The main reason for children’s reluctance to stay at home is poor awareness due to the substitution of concepts. In fact, the state of quarantine (that is, an emergency) has not been introduced in the country, so people are in voluntary self-isolation. It is for this reason that we have the right to go to the store or pharmacy, walk the dog, throw out the trash.
It is logical that the child has a question: why can’t I go for a walk? Why can’t I just hang out with my friends on a bench in the park? How is this different from going to the store? I’m not bothering anyone!
The devil is in the details: because of this wording, self-isolation and distance learning are perceived as a sudden vacation, and not as a necessary measure in view of the potential danger.
The situation can be further complicated by the following factors:
- age features (negativism, rebelliousness);
- lack of trusting relationship with parents;
- living in a cramped enclosed space with a large number of people and the lack of a corner;
- non-observance of personal boundaries by parents;
- intolerance to restriction of freedom and actions;
The situation can be aggravated by the informational noise that is created around children. Most likely, the child is an active user of social networks. If he is subscribed to groups or publics that publish not the most truthful or unverified information, then it is not surprising that he has no fear about the spread of the coronavirus. He believes that this will not affect him and therefore underestimates the situation.
How to solve a problem
So, if a child in self-isolation is eager to take a walk or visit friends, try to solve the problem peacefully using our practical recommendations.
one. Eliminate information noise. Try to exclude any informational noise from the life of the child. Let him, at your request, unsubscribe from news feeds and pages with unverified information. If you don’t want children to uncompromisingly declare that the coronavirus is not dangerous for teenagers, that the epidemic is fictional, and in general all this is a conspiracy of the world government, protect him from such information in the first place.
2. Build awareness. Try to negotiate with the child, gradually forming his awareness. Tell us about the dangers of the current epidemiological situation. The danger is not only in the virus itself, which in just a couple of days causes pneumonia (which is not pleasant, by the way: shortness of breath, chest pain, pulmonary edema, fever, headache, painful cough), but also in the fact that resources are gradually depleted, hospitals do not have the capacity to treat all people who come in with pneumonia. Previously, 2-3 people per day with pneumonia could be admitted to the hospital, and now up to 40-50 per day. In addition, even without symptoms, a person can be a carrier of the virus. Perhaps you feel good. But what if you are a carrier and infect your mother, grandmother, elderly neighbor, your friends? Until scientists come up with a vaccine or a cure, it is better to be patient and reduce the risks of infection. And, of course, you need to think about doctors who work in terrible conditions without rest for weeks. Each of us should think not only about ourselves, but about others. This is what a civilized society is built on.
3. Line up the schedule. When a child has a schedule (at home, school, sections, lessons, sleep), it is easier for him to exist. But on self-isolation, all this disappears: it is not surprising that the child has nowhere to put himself. This means that the schedule needs to be rebuilt, already taking into account the quarantine. Be sure to keep getting up at the same time, exercising, distance learning, doing homework in it. If you don’t need to go to sections, try not to forget about them so that the child does not lose skills. If the child went to a music school, let him take 1-2 hours to play the piano as before. If he went to dances, let him dance during the allotted time, even at the same time with other guys on Skype.
four. Give the child tasks. So that the children do not get bored and are not eager to walk, take their day. It can be anything: cleaning, replanting a cactus, combing a cat. And you can get creative with it. Say that you have long wanted to hang a beautiful picture of a birch grove or a bouquet of red roses on the wall. Let the child arm himself with paints and create a real masterpiece! And he is busy, and his parents are pleased.
5. Watch themed films. If the child does not yet understand the full danger of viral diseases and pandemics, then it’s time to start education. On the net you can find many documentaries on the topic of virology, diseases, human health. For example, films on the theme of plague, cholera or the Spanish flu will be an excellent clear example of what can happen if medical prescriptions and hygiene rules are not followed. Of course, you should not intimidate anyone into nightmares, follow reasonable dosing measures for information.
6. Suggest an alternative. With leisure, everything is clear. But what if the child wants to communicate, share experiences and funny pictures? Offer your child an alternative that does not require you to go outside and endanger yourself and others. You can chat with friends on any platform for video calls and conferences (Skype, Zoom) and even in regular messengers (Whatsapp, Vkontakte). In an online format, a child, together with friends, can arrange a joint tea party and a disco. The main thing is to provide the child not only with a gadget with the installed program, but also with a secluded corner where he can keep secrets with a friend without prying ears.
7. Temporarily remove some restrictions. If you did not allow your child to use the tablet every day or watch more than one movie a day, temporarily remove such prohibitions. Of course, a child can be bored within four walls! But let him find a way to keep himself busy at home rather than take unnecessary risks on the street. Go to meet him, reducing the temptation to go out for a walk: free up a computer for games for a while, subscribe to cool children’s channels with movies and cartoons, download interesting applications.
eight. talk. We must not forget that it is useful and easy to talk heart to heart with a child. Explain that you are also sad that you can’t go for a walk, to the cinema, to your favorite coffee shop or go to visit your grandmother. But you understand that you must treat the situation with all responsibility.