COVID-19 lockdown: How parents are coping with their kids

The Coronavirus pandemic that has shut down the economy and brought every activity to a standstill, including schools, has forced parents and their children to spend more time together. This lockdown which started with schools are seeing kids spend more time engaged in indoor activities.

However, with workplaces coming into the picture, it has become a bonding ground for parents and their children. While engaging in the same activity can seem boring, for some parents, it is a period to understand their kids better, know their strengths and weaknesses, and further instill good habits that are necessary.

Mrs. Bukola Osidibo, a mum of two and human rights lawyer says that the lockdown has afforded her tie to bond with her kids which is a compulsory activity. “My five-year-old does not sleep in the afternoon and to think I’m still working from home is another thing. Once I sit at my computer, his one year, seven months old brother comes to harass me, so I try as much as possible to do my work in bits and still be available to bond with them. I don’t know how they never get tired though.”

On teaching health and safety to her kids, Mrs. Osidibo said: “We have a big bottle of sanitiser in our home, then every family member has a pocket- size bottle. At intervals I encourage them to wash their hands, hence my five-year-old has almost finished the soaps, hand wash and detergent in the house all in the name of preventing COVID-19.

“While their father is always watching updates on the TV so he knows all the preventive measures that we should imbibe, but then once power goes off, my children turn to me and so I become the next available playmate and answering machine to all their questions. This can be really exhausting going through the process everyday.”

For Mrs. Ijeoma Emmanuel, it is a time to play games with her kids and then a bit of home-schooling.”We play board games together, puzzle and watch cartoons, too, it’s been fun for me staying home with my kids unlike the work periods when I always dash out of the home in the mornings and come home late. Afterall, there’s a good side to every ugly situation.

Mrs. Emmanuel stressed that she has also infused healthy practices while bonding with her children. “I am teaching them to wash their hands, never eat fruits without being properly washed, never to pick things from the ground into their mouth, they should cover their mouth when coughing and also not go close to anyone who is coughing.”

Mrs. Chinelo Okafor is a mum of two kids who are under three years old, she says being indoors with her kids have afforded her more communication time with her kids even though they are both yet to speak clearly. “I just downloaded very interesting nursery rhymes into my flash-drive, plug on the TV and play for them. It keeps them pretty occupied and I am learning to always sing along too.”

For Mercy Christian, a childcare and motherhood advocate, “bonding with my kids has been part of me since I became a mum. Little did I know it was going to be uneasy at this critical time of the lockdown. Despite not finding this situation funny due, I still thank God for everything and for the fact that I will have more time to bond better with my kids.

“This period is a trying one for me as I try to maintain emotional sanity towards my children. Sometimes, I lack control whenever the children upset me and I can’t help but spank or yell at them. I usually don’t do this but the issue of staying indoors for two solid weeks without stealing a stroll within my vicinity is what I find uncomfortable. So, it’s a bit tough for me and I will need to strike a balance to better bonding with my kids.

Christian added that while she encourages her kids to be conscious of what they do and how they play per time, she also educates them on the consequences of breaking health and safety rules which includes: falling ill, sustaining minor or life threatening injuries. “I am raw when it comes to teaching my kids health and safety tips. No matter how hard the truth is, I tell, I gather the courage to tell them. I try to keep a close watch on them to ensure their health is in good condition. But the truth is we cannot be too careful with children. We put the Almighty in control while we also do our best as parents or guardians.”

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