The COVID-19 pandemic has led to many schools closing and parents have been faced with the prospect of home-schooling their children. Ideally, teachers are providing lessons, either online or on paper, to help meet their academic needs. However, children have many other needs too.
They need to socialize with their peers, get exercise and more. When it comes to the challenge of exercising parental control, it is important to know how much responsibility a child can handle and where to step in and monitor behavior more carefully.
Keeping a consistent schedule
Children thrive on predictability and routine, both of which may be lacking for them right now with the disruption to their normal school life. Sticking to a routine similar to one followed at school will help not only while schools are closed but with the transition back to schools when they open again.
Try to keep the same morning and bedtime routines and have meals at the same time each day. If more than one adult is working from home, it may be helpful to coordinate schedules so one or the other can be responsible for monitoring the children at different times.
Being social the right way
Children need to interact with their peers. Platforms like Google Hangouts and Zoom allow children to stay connected to family and friends and avoid feeling lonely. Social media also provides ways to interact but parents need to monitor virtual interactions. Increased online access heightens safety risks.
If children want to use social media platforms, parents should make them aware of how they work and what they need to be aware of. They need to establish rules about access to the internet, such as how, when and where to use it. Setting up parental controls on devices can mitigate the risks, particularly for young users.
Installing the SpyFone mobile tracker on a child’s cell phone enables parents to keep watch over the child. They can access the control panel 24/7 to view information and see with whom children are chatting. With the reverse phone look-up feature, they are able to see who owns a phone number.
Using screen time productively
Concerns about screen time have arisen during this time, especially as children are using virtual classrooms and online learning programs. Concerns about too much screen time are valid when it consists of just passively watching the screen. However, using technology the right way can encourage problem-solving and creativity.
Technology can really help parents at this time, especially when trying to work from home as well as care for children. Today it is possible to create a whole roster of online classes for children and even find highly rated online teachers who know just how to keep children engaged. Children can even explore interests they do not have time for in the normal school curriculum.
Parents can allow their children to play video games as long as they monitor the time spent playing them. Playing games provides a way for children to connect and play with friends while they are not able to play together in the real world.
Having open conversations
Maintaining honest and open communication with children is the best way to ensure that they cope with the current pandemic and even thrive during this time. Parents need to listen attentively to their children and acknowledge their feelings and their fears.
Drawing, telling stories and other activities can help to open up discussions about what is happening. Children will talk freely if they feel they are in a safe environment. The more they communicate, the better the chances of parents being aware of their concerns and helping them to deal with them.