Even as the Singaporean government continues its vaccination program through the Ministry of Health (MOH), everyone must follow the minimum health standards, such as wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.
The adults can easily understand the importance of these measures and follow them diligently to keep them safe. But it’s a different story with children since the adults should constantly remind them of what they need to do to remain safe during the pandemic.
Here are some other things parents can do to maintain the physical and mental health of their children.
Plan with the Kids
When parents make plans for home safety and arrangements for homeschooling, they may want to get suggestions from their children. They can involve the children in planning routines, screen time, and space allocation for homeschooling arrangements. They can also involve the children in ensuring everyone follows health protocols to prevent the spread of the virus.
The parents may be amazed at the suggestions their children can give when keeping everyone safe during the pandemic. They can also suggest the schedule on using the computer to allow all the children of the family to be productive while they’re staying at home. The children can take turns in using the computer. While one works on online homework, the others can work on offline assignments.
Discuss Conflicts Before They Happen
Since the family will stay at home most of the time, conflicts may emerge. To ensure these conflicts between siblings will not worsen, the family can discuss them before they happen. The parents can even rehearse the conflicts so that they can work on solutions before they happen.
To avoid these situations, they can brainstorm solutions and identify areas in the house where the children can cool off. The parents can also schedule the use of devices to pre-empt arguments among the children.
If the parents need to pre-empt conflicts among the children, the spouses should also do the same to avoid arguing with each other. They should remember that the children can experience mental and emotional trauma when they see their parents fighting frequently. The children will also develop low self-esteem and insecurity since they consider the home as a haven. Once they see their parents quarrel frequently, they will see that their home is not anymore a haven.
To avoid this, they should set boundaries and respect each other. This is particularly true when they have work-from-home arrangements. In these instances, they may need a quiet place to work in. This is challenging when space is limited. Additionally, the parents should work together to run the household. They can take turns in watching the children and doing household chores.
Have Nutrient-Rich Pantry
The pantry should contain food that’s full of nutrients. It should keep everyone in the family healthy to strengthen their immunity. The groceries in stick should also have a long shelf life, including rice, tinned meat and fruits, and tinned vegetables.
It isn’t necessary to have too much food in the pantry since the family can always have food delivered to their home. The pantry should also contain medication needed for anyone in the family who has underlying conditions. It should also have medicines for common illnesses, such as antidiarrhoeal medication, antihistamines, and paracetamol.
Maintain Personal Hygiene
Maintaining good personal hygiene is also essential to keep the children healthy in the middle of the pandemic. They should wash their hands often, and if anyone goes out of the house, they should bring a bottle of hand sanitizer with them. When they go back to the house, taking a bath should be among the first things they should do.
Visit Health Professionals When Necessary
Visiting health professionals whenever it’s necessary is also important, especially during a pandemic. Telemedicine services may be available, so the children do not have to leave the house. But there are instances when the children have to visit the clinic. One of these instances is when they need to visit their paediatric dentist to extract their wisdom tooth. But when they go out, they should follow all health protocol to avoid getting sick.
Play Family Games
Playing games as a family is another good activity to maintain the mental health of both the children and parents. It also allows them to relax and have fun after a whole day of work or school. Playing as a family also strengthens the bond with each other.
With the continued roll-out of the vaccines, the pandemic may soon be over. But until this happens, parents should still take some steps to ensure their children remain physically and mentally healthy.