Sometimes life turns upside down and forces us to adapt to new circumstances, some of them more complicated. However, there comes a time when everything returns to normal, although sometimes we have to talk about a new normal because nothing is ever the same again. This is what has happened with the coronavirus quarantine and confinement, which after reaching its end forces us to resume or regain lost habits for the children and for ourselves.
What guidelines should we take into account with children, according to their age, so that the return to normality and daily routines is as effective as possible?
Although it seems strange, possibly the youngest children are those who find it most difficult to get back to normal. Why? Very easy. Why this back to normal It will take us a few months, it will be very gradual and some of them will not be able to distinguish what was normal and what was not.
Due to the characteristics of memory in those ages, they may not remember how we lived together before and they may accept some behaviors as 'normal' when they are not. For example, having had to get used to living with a contagious disease that requires increased hygiene, it may be the case that they may say phrases such as 'The railing cannot be touched' or 'My mother says that hugs cannot be given'.
So that, it is very important to have conversations with them in which we are emphasizing the behaviors that we do now and that are not usually 'normal' so that they can assimilate these changes.
For example, 'Now we can't share our toys with the other children, but after a few days, we can leave them for a little while.' Always from a simple language adapted to his age. By that, we mean that It is good to talk openly about the subject with the little ones and showing calm, but trying not to saturate them with information or excessive norms.
At these ages, children have a greater capacity for reasoning and understanding and, therefore, also greater adaptability. They are more aware of the situation, and therefore, it will be important to resolve any doubts that may arise, listen to them and allow them to express their emotions.
For example, when we tell a child of this age that they cannot get together to play with others because that is the isolation guidelines and the child gets angry, it is useless to say 'don't be angry'. For him, this new limit is unfair and you have the right to show your frustration.
It is preferable to talk to him, validate his emotion and propose or seek an alternative between the two: 'I understand how you feel. I know, it's unfair. I too would like to play a game with you, but now we can't. Don't worry, when this happens, we will both organize a match, what do you think? '
Like children from 6 to 12 years old, adolescents are even more aware of the situation, but due to the evolutionary stage they are in and their characteristics, they tend to be more reluctant to follow the rules, they want greater autonomy and prefer spend more time with their peers than with their parents. However, there can be a situation where there is a certain confrontation between what I want to do and what I am allowed to do. So that, usually leads to certain conflicts at home.
Similarly, it is important to listen to them, validate their emotions, and in these cases, negotiate (whenever possible). The imposition often ends in family conflicts. Always taking into account the recommendations of the health authorities of our region, it is recommended that adolescents can have contact with their friends. This is because in adolescence, the social environment is a key pillar in their development. That moment with friends will be a great moment of emotional relief and disconnection.
To all this, why children can resume or regain habits and routines that before we had without much difficulty, we must reassure them, give them support to manage their emotions and teach them through example.
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