What to Do with My Child at Home?

With many countries on lock-down, families are confined to their homes for most or all of their day. Some parents still have to work from home, others may struggle with the uncertainty of the future or the loss of jobs and income. How can we take care of our children in the midst of our own frustration?

Below are six easy-to-apply and highly effective parenting tips that have been developed based on research and experience across the world and are endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) among others. We encourage you to read through them and apply them in your own household. You could be surprised how simple it is to improve your everyday family life!

1 One-on-One Time

Can’t go to work? Schools closed? Worried about money? It is normal to feel stressed and overwhelmed. School shutdown is also a chance to make better relationships with our children and teenagers. One-on-One time is free and fun. It makes children feel loved and secure, and shows them that they are important.

-> Set aside time to spend with each child -> Ask your child what tey would like to do -> Listen to them, look at them. Give them your full attention. Have fun!

-> Say the behavior you want to see! (It's all in the delivery) -> Praise your child when they are behaving well! -> Help your teen stay connected!

2 Keeping It Positive

It‘s hard to feel positive when our kids or teenagers are driving us crazy. We often end up saying “Stop doing that!” But children are much more likely to do what we ask if we give them positive instructions and lots of praise for what they do right.

3 Structure Up

COVID-19 has taken away our daily work, home and school routines. This is hard for children, teenagers and for you. Making new routines can help.

-> Create a flexible but consistent daily routine -> You are a model for your child's behavior -> Teach your child about keeping safe distances

-> Redirect! Catch bad behavior early. -> Take a Pause! Breathe in and out slowly 5 times. -> Use consequences. This is more effective than hitting or shouting.

4 Bad Behavior

All children misbehave. It is normal when children are tired, hungry, afraid, or learning independence. And they can drive us crazy when stuck at home.

5 Keep Calm and Manage Stress

This is a stressful time. Take care of yourself, so you can support your children.

-> You are not alone - millions of people have the same fears -> Take a break - we all need it at times -> Listen to your kids - accept how they feel and give them comfort

-> Be open and listen -> Be honest and answer truthfully -> Be supportive and let them share their feelings -> It's OK not to know the answer -> End on a good note

6 Talking about COVID-19

Be willing to talk. They will already have heard something. Silence and secrets do not protect our children. Honesty and openness do. Think about how much they will understand. You know them best.

stay updated

Sign up for WEA's Relief & Development Newsletter for COVID-19 updates.

Scroll to Top