The variations caused by COVID-19 affect everyone very quickly without choosing castes in the society and they must adapt to survive. Anyone who has a reserve may be able to sustain themselves and their family through this condition without much trauma. But in some families, this event was like a great crisis, they did not know how to move forward on the day when children have to stop studying and do not understand what is happening including parents who have difficulty in their career.
The first concern is inevitable such as food and necessities that become rare and have limited access. How will children eat and live? Parents may need to lower their standards and take advantage of the local food items as simple cooking ingredients at an affordable price, relying on generous philanthropists to distribute food and other necessities or the government assistance, which shows the kindness of Thai people in difficult times. In addition to eating in each day that is enough to find a solution to this problem, the things that parents should focus on are physical health care, mental health and life guidance for children. “Physical health care” is to teach children how to protect themselves and help society to not have more patients, which is to eat hot spoon (their own spoon), wash hands, keep distance and wear a mask when meeting people. “Mental health care” is an understanding heart of the children who face suffering and pressures like us. The parents should find an opportunity to sit and talk as a child friend, open up your mind to listen to your children’s views, thoughts and emotions and show them that the parents are here with the children and ready to help them. For example, “Mother understands that you are bored of staying a home, not going out to meet friends or playing. Mother feels the same way. So, what are we doing now? When we can go out, Mother will take you to do activities that you like. “That is, parents are using the principle of “Understanding the emotions of other people (empathy)” which will help parents to sit in the heart of the child, understand the children’s perspectives, thoughts, and emotions in various situations and can guide the way of their life.
“Life guidance for children ” starts from “an appropriate balance between news consumption” from trustworthy news sources. If your children feel stressed about what is happening, you should try changing your children’s posture to do other activities. ” This is your duties and responsibilities that should be done and do not lack”. For example, even if children are unable to go to school, they can learn by themselves by reading books or studying online lessons available on the internet, helping their parents to work or find part-time jobs to increase income. “Helping others by ability and opportunity” begins with helping ease the burden of family members, doing housework, caring for younger people, sewing masks for personal use, or sharing with others, so on. However, doing what for others will make your children happier, being loved by others and not caught up in their own problems. “Inviting to look at the situation from a creative view” Inviting your child to look at the situation in a positive way is to promote positive thinking skills, which are good ways of looking at situations based on reality and able to handle them. Furthermore, there is encouragement to face the problem tirelessly (Ventrella, 2001), such as “Having COVID-19 also allows parents and children to spend more time together” “Although children are not going to school but they have more time to enjoy the art they like”.
When children have positive perceptions and emotions about the situation, parents are also able to use this opportunity to share the situation that they are facing with their children to create “understanding and participation” in solving family problems. Parents may assign responsibility and some decisions for the children. For example, “Now mother is not working in the same place and wants to find something new to do, what do children think we are doing?” “Dad wants you to take care of this work for me and I am confident that you will do well. What do you think? ” For doing this action, the children will have something to do during the time they have to stay in the house in addition to promoting life skills, enhancing the direct experience of action in both thought and action, which increases social-emotional maturity as well as self-esteem and helps children to develop their own abilities (Self-efficacy) as well.
Every crisis has an “opportunity”. We just look at the situation that is based on reality. We just look at situations that are based on reality, accept things beyond your ability to control consciously and deal with things that can be done with the limitations. We spend this time looking back at the thoughts, feelings and emotions of ourselves and our children to remind ourselves that what is happening is always good. When we look at the good aspects of what we have, we will find that we can pass this time together and every step of the parents will leave their footprints for their children to follow.
Wish all parents good health, a strong heart to be the foundation for their children.
Assistant Professor Dr. Chutima Suraseth, Dr. Chananchida Thummanond
Department of Educational Research and Psychology, Faculty of Education, Chulalongkorn University[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]