After weeks locked up, the children can go out again from Sunday. Emotionally preparing our children for this trip abroad can help them make a smoother transition.
Boys and girls have spent almost six weeks locked up at home due to the State of Alarm for COVID-19. This next Sunday, with restrictions and complying with the necessary security measures, they will be able to go out on the street again.
For many of them, these anomalous changes that they are experiencing can affect them emotionally. From Mentesana, we want to offer you some ideas so that this transition is as balanced as possible.
WHY DO YOU HAVE TO MAKE A CAREFUL TRANSITION?
During these days of seclusion, many children are also suffering the stress of this crisis. They know that their normality has changed, they see their parents worried, they listen (daily) to the news about the affected and the deceased, and they may even have lost a loved one.
As if this were not enough, many children have been pressured during all these days with an enormous burden of homework that, for most of them, has meant, more than a help, an increase in the anguish they already felt.
Due to these experiences, the isolation and lack of mobility to which they have been subjected, many children are beginning to suffer symptoms of stress such as anxiety, insomnia or irritability. On the other hand, some children feel anguish and fear when they go out onto the street.
They are afraid of the disease, of the unknown, of what can be found beyond the safe haven that the four walls of their house represent.
KEYS TO PRESERVING YOUR EMOTIONS
Before taking our first walk to the street, mothers, fathers, we can help our children, preparing them emotionally to enjoy these outings. So that going abroad does not become a source of fear or anguish for them.
These general tips should be adapted to the age of each child: an eight-year-old will be able to better understand the limitations, while in younger children, we will have to approach the situation as if it were a game.
- Before leaving
We must clarify that these exits do not suppose a total return to normality, that they are like a parenthesis or a break in the alert situation that we still live. It is important that, when giving explanations, we do not transmit scaremongering to them that causes them more distress.
- To rehearse all the special measures that we must follow (maintain social distance, wash hands, leave shoes at the entrance when returning home, etc.) we can invent a family play, a role playing in which we practice with our children the safety measures and the different situations that may arise when we go out (meeting friends, passing in front of the playground, seeing people with masks, etc.). The first outing
This first day has to be like a kind of training. It is not mandatory to exhaust the entire hour of allowed ride. From time to time, observing the expressions of our children and knowing that they can return home at any time, we can ask them what they think of being on the street again.
Remember that the priority must be the emotional well-being of children and that if they are not comfortable, we should not force them.
- How to manage your anxiety
From the age of 5 or 6, children can express their concern about going outside. Going outside can cause anxiety, they have spent 6 weeks hearing how dangerous the outside world is and that we have stayed at home to protect ourselves and others from illness.
We have to explain to our children that, taking care of security measures, it is very unlikely that they will contract the disease. It is also important that parents are the first to give them confidence, without projecting our fears or concerns to them.
- Keep your distance games
Most likely, on these walks, they will meet friends or classmates and want to play with them. Let’s use creativity to invent games in which they can interact, but maintaining social distance.
For example, they can learn some letters of sign language or invent a kind of Morse code with their friends with clenched fists (dots) and palms (stripes).
- Enjoy the moment
This return to the streets can be an opportunity to learn from our children. They can teach us to appreciate the moment, to enjoy the little things that we previously overlooked due to rush and habit.
They know how to delight in the sunlight, with the color of the plants, with the scents of spring, with the movement of the bugs, with a run in the open air.
- When coming home
Talk about how you felt when you left, what you liked, what you found strange, your feelings and emotions.
That our children communicate their impressions to us and that they can speak openly about their anxieties, desires and feelings, is very important for their emotional health.
We are your support, the people you trust who are always there to support and shelter you. These days, they need us more than ever.