Singapore, together with the world, has met with so much change over the past few months!
Rules, reports and advice surrounding COVID-19 has been in flux, differing between phases of the Circuit-breaker, Phase 1, Phase 2 and... what next?
Even as adults, we have to strain to keep up with updates and new rules, what more our kids? As we struggle to stay on top of the news, some of us might be wondering whether there's a good way to explain this pandemic and its changing rules to our kids.
Local children's book author, Darlene Lee, recognised this, and wrote an e-book titled To Keep Everyone Safe..., with the intention of helping young children and their families make sense of, and find ways to cope with the many changes around them. She is a developmental specialist who has been working with children in the preschool and special needs field for 5 years, and loves illustrating in her free time. In the last couple of months, she learned a great deal about the concerns and challenges that families currently face in light of the pandemic.
So, according to To Keep Everyone Safe..., how can you help your child make sense of this pandemic?
1. Maintain a consistent daily routine for your child
Fluctuating rules and activities can present themselves as a confusing stressor. It would be helpful to talk through the day's activities with your little one, and let them know what to expect each day. Additionally, try as much as possible to have them stick to a consistent daily routine and schedule, so they can feel a sense of security and familiarity--at least for each phase!
2. Talk openly about big feelings
You may use sensory techniques, like giving them certain objects that help with each emotion, and labelling each feeling, such as 'confusion' or 'sadness'. Encourage them to ask for simple things that would help when a feeling arises, or engage in their favourite activities together! All of this help your child understand and work through the emotions that might come about with the pandemic-related changes.
3. Let them know that everyone falls sick, and that it's okay
Well, it is! All of us have the occasional runny nose or headache once in a while, but that doesn't mean it's life-threatening at all. Reassure your child that everyone feels a little under the weather sometimes, and that you will be there for them should they feel unwell.
4. Use dramatisation and pretend play to process thoughts and feelings
Will we be able to travel soon? Will I suddenly have to stay home again? Using dramatisation and pretend play--which we commonly incorporate into My Messy Box's sensory play--encourage your child to act out new situations together with you. Now they can openly and healthily process their thoughts and feelings!
Want to get your hands on the full-coloured, complete version of To Keep Everyone Safe... to read with your child and help them understand circuit-breaker rules? Simply click here to get your free copy.
To explore more sensory play options for your child, click here.