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Raising happy children despite the stress of Covid-19

Children, like us, experience anxiety and fear. And, with all of the uncertainty around Covid-19, there's no doubt that this has increased.

Just like us, kids get worried and scared. And this year, there’s no doubt that this has escalated with all the uncertainty and news that surround them on a daily basis.

How can you assist your child in playing through their fears?

Here are three excellent ways to assist your children in overcoming their fears through play.

Laughter for stress-relief

Have you noticed that when your child is scared or anxious, he frequently complains of a tummy ache?

According to the theory, when a child is afraid or anxious, his body naturally prepares to fight or flee. This causes stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline to be released, which causes his heart to race and blood flow to his muscles to increase in preparation for danger. This makes it difficult for him to relax his muscles, and it may have an impact on his digestive system. Experts say that this is where laughter can help. This is because it relaxes muscles, lowers stress hormones, and causes the release of endorphins, which are feel-good hormones.

Find out what makes your child laugh (no matter how silly you think it is) and surprise him with it when he least expects it. This could include anything from making strange faces to tickling him.

Make time for special bonding

This idea appeals to us because it fits into our hectic schedules. Setting aside 15 minutes or so for “special time” is the idea. Set your phone to a timer and tell your child that when it rings, it’s their “special time.” This implies that they are free to do whatever they want with you during this time. Make sure your phone is turned off (and the rest of the family is aware that this is special time with your child) so you can fully enjoy this time.

The idea is for your child to take the initiative and decide what games they want to play with you. Maybe they’ll make up a game in which they pretend to be your mother or father and you are the child, or that they’re a doctor about to operate on you.

The key is for them to be able to spend “special time” with you on a regular basis so that it becomes a way for them to express themselves and they can trust you to listen and be there for them.

Play – and let them come out on top!

Giving children “super powers” can help them cope with their fears and anxieties. You can read whatever you want into this, but the point is to come up with some fun games in which you physically challenge them but then let them win!

A big pillow fight, a tickling contest, a tug of war, a race across the yard, and so on. Remember, you don’t want to use physical force to intimidate them; you want them to play and feel powerful.  

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