Some of the biggest lessons of the COVID situation are that robust immune systems can handle the infection better and a robust emotional health can handle the stress of this situation better. the earlier we cultivate these, the better for humanity.
All of us care about the well-being of our children, but some of us tend to be over protective of them. We are afraid to expose them to diverse external and internal environments. By external environment, i mean cold, heat, dry and wet – what in sanskrit we terms as sheeta, ushna, ruksha and snigdha. By internal environment, i mean the variety of emotions happiness, sorrow, anger, frustration and other things. Without the diversity of environments, children find it difficult to adapt to new situations and circumstances.
I have personally seen many parents not allowing their children to play under the sun or get wet in the rain. We don’t want to overdo things but let us not keep them away from the little pleasures of life.
So here are some things that you can do in general and some specifics during this lockdown period:
- Allow your children periodically to experience variety of natural environments. Humid coastal towns, forest walks, hot and dry mainland travel, and the cold himalayas. Expose them to variety of food tastes. Most foods that we eat are sweet or salty. All the 6 tastes are important to cultivate. This makes their immune system very robust. A periodic neem leaf or bitter gourd can cleanse their system. Training them to allow sufficient breaks in between 2 meals or snacks can help them immensely to have a strong immune system and also train them to not fill up free time or the vaccum with food.
- Allow them to get bored.. normally we tend to pack their day with activities. We also are upset with them when they are always glued to mobile phones ,especially during this lockdown period. We need to understand that just as we are grappling with the new situation, they too are feeling an abrupt vaccum which they are trying to fill with something. They did not even have time to bid farewell to their friends and they are not sure when they are going to be reunited with their friends. Give them a broad guideline on how they can best manage their time but do not get frustrated that they aren’t following exactly the schedule you have set for them. Didn’t this new situation teach you that we also need to learn how to unwind?
- Don’t try to automate their life. Many a times, we chart out a plan, hand it over to our children and disappear from there. We try to automate everything in our lives, don’t we? We apply automation to a highly dynamic system. Try to be with them during play time or Yoga time or story time. That way they learn how to execute a plan that you have charted out for him. Handhold them and they would blossom to be excellent people.