Kumkum Jagadish, a child psychologist shares an overview about the parent-child bonding in this pandemic

Kumkum Jagdish explains that child and parent should bond and grow their relationship stronger this pandemic being confined at home. She gives some parenting techniques which are must this pandemic.

According to the latest report by UNICEF, children and adolescents constitute 28% of the world’s population. The covid-19 pandemic has led to short-term as well as long-term psychosocial and mental health implications in children and adolescents. Medicircle has geared towards providing measures for developing healthy coping mechanisms in children during the current crisis by speaking to mental health professionals in its exclusive series. The aim is to create understanding in adults about children’s mental health and help them with constructive ideas so that they can shape innocent minds in the best possible way in this pandemic.

KumKum Jagadish has been working in the field of psychology for the past four years. Currently, she is working as an independent consultant in various counseling centers and creates modules to facilitate a range of workshops including self-awareness, parenting, depression, and anger management. She's also a part of the parenting expert panel on the parenting website for parents. She was also a part of the project in Mumbai and counseling services to people across India during the lockdown. She also has her independent counseling services and helps clients with family, emotional parenting, and child counseling.

Understanding your child this pandemic is a must 

Kumkum says, “It is important to know the age, physical development, cognitive development, study, play, social interactions of the child which is restricted this pandemic. We are spending all the energy on developing their skills. The physical and social development of the child is all restricted now. The energy is not flowing as it use to be. There is a lot of confusion inside the children. They fear uncertainty. They are listening to all about the news going around this pandemic. So there is : 

  • Stress 
  • Irritation  
  • Fear
  • Anger  
  • Confusion 
  • Unusual behaviors 
  • Tantrums 
  • Shouting and screaming by children 
  • Reduce interaction with family"

Parenting technique is must this pandemic 

Kumkum informs, “We should teach children to cope up with this pandemic in an effective manner. We can do this, if we are aware of the behavior of the child. This requires parenting techniques. Parents need to know about the behaviors, thoughts, and feelings of the child during this pandemic. So awareness about the same is important. This will help the parents to address it with better-coping strategies. Parents can help them by dealing with the right and positive manner." 

Online classes: Good or Bad?

Kumkum says, “ When we are talking about online classes, let’s not look into it whether it is good or bad. Internet and the web is a very important part of our lives now. In case, if there is no internet, online classes would not have happened. This means children would have lost the education opportunity. At least, they are getting limited education now which they would have lost out on. There are limitations to everything. The education of children is not come to standstill and it is important to understand the same. It is difficult to do online sessions rather than face-to-face sessions. The child is not able to interact with his friends or teachers which is a huge loss. But the online medium is helping them to connect with teachers and friends up to a certain percentage. As parents, we need to understand the difficulties the child faced during online classes. We should understand this by : 

  • Questioning them
  • Asking them politely 
  • Do not judge them  
  • Do not criticize them  
  • Suggesting them to sit down 
  • Asking them to focus on the teacher
  • Do not force your child to sit  15 mins of attention are normal at a time 
  • If the class is boring, the child must not sit for long
  • Communicate the difficulties to the teacher
  • Teach can come up with different methods to help the child to sit for a longer time
  • Cut down on external factor distracting the child
  • Draw some rules and boundaries between study time and playtime
  • Adjust the situation accordingly
  • Awareness about the situation 
  • Acceptance of the situation 

It is important to make it easier for children to attend online classes. The attention span of the child is 15-20 minutes and most of the teachers are aware of this. Teachers are also catering to education and living up to the interest of the child."

Understand your children and talk to them 

Kumkum gives an example and explains, “For example, if your child is sick or has a stomach ache, you are going to find out the reason for it. Do not ignore it by saying that your child is acting up. Do not blame yourself or your child. Do not criticize the situation. Awareness and acceptance are very important. So once you look at it objectively, then you know how to address it. Explain to the child that he has indigestion. Go to the doctor and take corrective actions. Effective coping up strategies are a must. 

  • Positive Communication 
  • Do not personalize anything 
  • Don't equate with the behavior to the child Communicate your feelings 
  • Praise your child 
  • Do not scold them for wrong thing instead praise them for the right things
  • Thank your child, for helping you or sitting in class for more than 20 mins
  • Build self-esteem and self-confidence  Build leadership skills 
  • Team-building skills 
  • Skills of communication 
  • Set routines with to-do-list 
  • Help them focus on future 
  • Avoid consumption
  • Give them responsibility
  • Give them a sense of independence
  • Create a friendly environment at home 
  • Cook together with the child 
  • Play board games with the child 
  • Practice hobbies together 
  • Ask for their opinion 
  • Discuss with them their favorite topic
  • Better understanding and bonding 
  • Let children feel secure inside the house 

This is helpful for the parent-child relationship. Focus on these areas.” 

Spending time with children despite being a working parent is a must 

Kumkum says, “Spending time with the child is very important irrespective of the fact ether you are working or not. Follow these steps:

  • Focus on quality time rather than quantity 
  • Maintain eye contact 
  • While interacting with children, keep away from mobile and laptops
  • Spend 30 mins discussing work 
  • Go through photo albums  
  • Talk about their childhood
  • Reduce the screening time by talking 
  • Connect with family and your child 
  • Improve social and communication skills 
  • Allow the child to talk with friends like Whatsapp chat or zoom meet 
  • Organize fun time or virtual party time
  • Read books 
  • Play memory game  
  • Be creative 

(Edited by Dr.Rati Parwani)

 

Contributed by: Kumkum Jagadish, Clinical Psychologist
For More updates on Healthcare Stay tuned to Medicircle your partner for good health.
Tags : #National-Childrens-Mental-Health-Day-Awareness-Series #KumkumJagadish #mentalhealth #medicircle #smitakumar

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