[vc_row full_width=”stretch_row_content”][vc_column offset=”vc_col-md-offset-0 vc_col-sm-offset-0″][vc_column_text]The spread of the disease, COVID-19 (let’s call it short, “Covid”), affecting the lives of our children severely, may result from the following reasons:
- As child carers, parents or grandparents feel anxious or distressed about this epidemic, so we spend most of our time seeking the news and consequently reduce time and attention with our children.
- Child carers may have income problems from government measures’ suspension of work, resulting in reduced family income and experiencing additional stress from cost of living issues.
- Social distancing measureshave caused schools, playgrounds and places, where children used to spend time doing educational activities, to close. They have to spend most of their time inside their house.
- The media that children watch, such as TV, have changed the program schedule to focus more on Covid, causing these young viewers to receive the information of Covid too much and may consequently lead to confusion.
Guidance for child carers:
- Maintain child’s daily activities as close to the original as possible with balanced time on self-care, helping parents with household activities, including learning and recreation activities.
- Adult self-management is very important that parents or child carers should not be so scared of. If we follow the 3 main principles of self-protection (keep distance, wash hands and wear a cloth face mask in public), then we are able to protect ourselves. Also, we should carefully select the news from reliable media sources and spend 2-3 hours a day to have time to look after our children and have time for our own activities.
- Encourage children to talk about their understanding and feelings about COVID disease, which they daily receive from numerous types of media. Making their voices heard can make them realise that you care about them, and try to help them understand the incidents and consequences affecting their lives and their families.
- Provide an opportunity for children to learn from books and media appropriate for their age. Also, Participate in activities with them such as reading, cooking food or making snacks, and making toys, etc. (More referrence https://www.tkpark.or.th/ (Free E-Book) https://inspiremyplay.com/ (How to make activities for children) and https://stories.audible.com/discovery (Free Audio Book)
- Keep closer to children through discussions and participate in their activities because they will have more time in the house, however this does not mean they will not be able to contact friends. Encourage children to keep in contact with friends via social media. Allow them to do activities with friends under the 3 safety rules (keep distance, wash hands, and wear a cloth face mask) in a safe place such as in a house, a yard, or a garden where there are not many people.
To overcome the crisis, families and communities must work together to provide children with safety environment and peace of mind by preventing them from distraction from social media with the hope that they can overcome the crisis by using power and strong relationship between families and communities. Also, help children explore the crisis and learn to proactively adapt to difficult situations so that they can come out stronger and more capable.
Senior Expert Head of Advisor
Group Department of Mental Health, Ministry of Public Health[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]