Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

MUST READ: COVID-19 parenting tips

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Don’t panic! Take responsibility.

• Have an honest conversation with your children about why they are at home and cannot go to school or out to places as they usually go to

• Ask them what they know about the coronavirus, how they feel about it and why

• Explain the seriousness of the disease to them

• Explain how the disease is spread to them

• Reassure and teach them how to protect themselves

• Practice what you teach them; model the behaviours you want them to learn

Empower your children to safeguard themselves from the virus

Teach them how to protect themselves against the disease by doing the following:

• Wash their hands regularly with soap under running water for 20 seconds (practice with them)

• Maintain physical distance outdoors of at least 2 meters always to prevent the spread of the virus

• Cough or sneeze into a tissue and throw away or into their bent elbow when they cannot find a tissue.

• Avoid touching their mouth, nose and ears with unwashed hands.

• Avoid going out to play with friends for now

• Avoid visiting neighbours

• Stay away from large crowd

• Avoid touching, handshakes, hugging or kissing anyone

• Teach them fun new ways to greet people from a distance if they have to. Tips to keep children engaged while at home

• Create a flexible but consistent daily routine for them

• Give them age appropriate responsibilities at home

• Help them stay connected with friends and loved ones through phone calls, SMS, and social media platforms

• Make physical exercise with them part of the daily routine

• Encourage them to read books

• Listen to music, sing and dance with the children

• Encourage their creativity (writing, painting, drawing etc)

• Ensure they get enough rest (observe their regular sleeping routine)

• Help them with their schoolwork, but ensure they also work independently

• Play indoor games together as a family (Ayo, Ludo, WHOT, PlayStation)

• Do chores together (cleaning, washing etc)

• Teach them age-appropriate skills (cooking, sewing, photography, drawing, video editing, fixing broken things in the house)

• Plan daily meals together with children

• Take early morning strolls within your community alone

Self-help for parents

Staying at home with children at this time can be overwhelming, a few tips on how to manage the stress are:

• Take a break (rest as much as you can, get enough sleep)

• Practice self-care, take care of your mind

• Talk about your concerns – anxiety at this time is normal

• Get enough sleep (at least 8 hours a night)

• Maintain your spirituality (if you are religious)

• Stay connected with friends and family

• Make physical exercise part of your daily routine

• Try to include fruits and vegetables in your daily diet.

• Try new recipes with your family

• Focus on the things that you can control.

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