News Investigators/ A Lagos based Psychologist, Chidinma Nwobi, on Saturday, x-rayed some useful measures mothers could adopt to engage the children positively during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Mrs. Nwobi, an Intentional Parenting Advocate (IPA) is the founder of the “Happiness Place” located in the Amuwo Odofin area of Lagos.
She spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the need to rightly engage children during the COVID-19 lockdown and keep them focus driven.
She said that mothers as major caregivers in the home must first strive to be solution-focused so as to successfully look out for their families.
“The lockdown is unprecedented, and so, the first thing for mothers is to be solution-focused and adopt a faith-oriented stance with the COVID-19.
“During this period, mothers can co-create a lockdown plan and routine, get the children together, have a meeting and allow them to express their opinion so as to make them feel responsible.
“Mothers must also teach the children common coping skills as well as censor their “screen time” on all information they watch on television.
“It is also plausible to engage the children in arts and craft, nourishing their minds, body and spirit with the religious books,’’ the psychologist said.
She underscored the need to engage the children in conversations about COVID-19 and get them to understand the basics, beyond just washing of hands.
Mrs. Nwobi said that mothers had a tendency of being worked up when their children start acting up, and so, urged them to see this period as an opportunity for growth and good bonding with family.
“This is because un-navigated emotions on the part of the children can overwhelm them and make them cranky.
“A child who feels heard, is likely to be more receptive of whatever instructions that comes his or her way.
“I, therefore, urge mothers to ensure they nourish the minds of their wards,’’ she said.
According to Mrs. Nwobi, food is important at this time but eating the right meals is very important, especially during the lockdown, when there tends to be “emotional eating”.
She stressed the importance of keeping children away from sugary foods to avoid over-activity.
“During this period, it is clear that everybody is bored and anxious, with most people using food to fill up, or as an escape route.
“The children require healthy meals at this time; less sugar and more of fruits because there is a burst of energy that comes with consuming sugary foods,’’ she said.
According to her, the consequence of energy burst is that the children tend to be hyperactive.
The psychologist added that mothers can effectively coordinate their homes if they take these basics into consideration.