Things To Do When Confined
We recently caught up with Sunny Mum, national certified parent-child psychological counselor in China, to talk about parenting tips during these exceptional times. Sunny Mum has been included in Forbes’ exclusive Chinese Top 10 of the top parent-child opinion leaders.
“The global pandemic we are experiencing has forced schools and places of work to close. And confinement at home means that we are all living and working under the same roof, often in close quarters. Understandably, parents doing double duty around the clock face physical and mental exhaustion, and kids get bored and cranky.
As a parent-child psychological counselor, I believe this time represents an opportunity. This time together is a gift, as playing with kids at home is a great way to stimulate their intellectual, physical and emotional capacities, while developing their creativity and curiosity.
The following is a guide for how to make the most of this experience as a family.”
1. How parent-child interaction can stimulate child’s curiosity
Children are naturally curious. Curiosity enables learning and discovery. Studies have found that in the animal world, curiosity favors the development of survival skills, as it compels them to explore, learn, and cope with new environments.
“What do I look like”
Teach your kids to recognise everyday objects by their shapes, sizes and colors to develop their capacity of observation, concentration and exploration.
Organise a treasure hunt for your child at home by hiding their favorite toys and helping them to find their favorite toys by using a map of the house. This game develops your child’s capacity for observation, memory and logic.
Other games, like making simple sculptures with folded paper, drawing and other crafts, stimulate their capacity for observation, exploration, and their curiosity for the sensory experience.
2. Use the hand and brain to stimulate child’s creativity
“Creativity” is one of the hottest trends in global child education. In this technological and scientific era, creativity is one of the most important skills one can learn. It summons up knowledge and intelligence, curiosity and imagination. Happily, nothing is simpler than cultivating your child’s creativity: It starts with play! Here are a few daily games that can help
Construction projects using age-appropriate building blocks exercise your kids’ spatial imagination.
Storytelling and creative writing (stories, poems or jokes) help cultivate logical thinking.
Crafts of all kinds develop creativity, concentration, and manual dexterity: Kids love finger painting, clay modelling, collage and other crafts…Let them make a mess while stimulating their imagination! Up the entertainment factor by turning a solitary activity into a contest or a project for two!
3. Become a social master
Social skills are essential in life. Kids learn to express themselves by imitating us. Soon they are able to communicate effectively, and it helps them become autonomous members of the family group.
Social skills develop in larger groups, and in normal circumstances, our children are exposed to friends, relatives, teachers and even strangers. But given the current context, contact is limited to parents and siblings. But there are ways to continue working on social skills together!
Draw a picture for your child and ask him/her to guess what it is. If your drawings skills aren’t up to the task, use words! Play “I Spy” by describing an object in the room and asking them to guess what it is. Then switch roles and get them to spy an object in the room and describe it for you to identify. Both are simple ways of honing language skills for social interaction.
To play this game, ask your child to pretend to be you, while you imitate your child. It’s a fun way to enhance your child’s observation skills and empathy through mime, which are both critical in developing their social skills.
“Children are born with powerful abilities. Although they are now confined with their families, rest assured that limited space does not equal limited potential. Families now have the time to grow together, finding ways to help their children, explore and develop through play and interaction with you.
As they grow up, kids experience many different challenges, gaining strength and understanding of their world. This epidemic requires us to take drastic preventative measures: including both physical isolation and regular disinfection. When it comes to your child’s health, good nutrition is key to supporting a strong immune system. Your child will explore their world once again! But right now, we can all seize this opportunity to help them continue to develop their potential.”
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