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Educate children for hope and acceptance in covid-19

FARAH LATIF NAZ
This too shall pass این نیز بگذرد”  An old Persian saying by sufi poet Rumi that may have related with today situation.
A fable of a powerful king is associated with this, who asks to wise men of his kingdom to create a ring that will make him happy when he is sad, and make him sad when he is happy. After this announcement sages hand him a simple ring with these Persian words “This too shall pass” written on it, which has the sense to make him happy when he is sad. It also, however, became an alarming sense for whenever he is happy. As we all know that after World War 2 human worldis facing biggest crisis of its time named COVID-19. This situation predicts that this disaster may bring change in human lifestyle in later times. Change in any form cannot be adopted without mental acceptance.
This time will passes but with this time things might be change rapidly as before, so to cope with the new situation and upcoming changes we should prepare our minds for acceptance and adjustments.
Pleasure and sorrows are like the petals of life. The survival is based on true understanding of the present circumstances. This is necessary for both adults as well as children. History is evidence that every situation not for longer time can sustain, so in this time of difficulty parents should educate our young children for accepting the new order and hope about good time.
Uncertainty and fears for future can ruined the blossoms of present time as well. As we know, with the binging of this epidemic covid-19 have great impact on human beings. This phenomena creates anxiety and fear from top to bottom line.
Kids are mentally affected than adults. Psychological  observations said that in this outbreak children have seen with multiple disorders like, Sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, fear of the dark, behavioral disorders,  aggressiveness, nightmares, poor concentration, increase in conflicts, physical complaints and delinquent behavior.
Parents try to connect and understand them instead of always correct them. Children like colors it’s up to you what color you want to create for, it’s your own choice. Parents should be aware how to deal with mental trauma and depression, everybody is uncertain about the future situations.
As some children have questions about disconnecting with their friends, hugs, handshakes etc., here is need to educate them that these precautions are sad but not bad, try to teach them that this social distancing is just a physical distancing, it’s not disconnection or loneliness from friends and family, not cutting down with everybody, these are few precaution just for some time.
It’s not emotional distancing, we can talk, we can laugh and we can live together as freely as before but with some said measures. Once an author Vivian Greene beautifully narrates, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” We should educate to keep moving and hope for the best and prepare for the worst. The consequences of this fatal disease needs endurance and courage, parents and children should prepare their mind for the acceptance of reality and upcoming changes in world society.
In this time of lockdown or quarantine parents have sufficient time to notice and develop mental and emotional health of their kids and furthermore according to child’s age and mental level inculcate challenging behavior to face the unpredicted future hazards, as explained by James Heckman winner of 2000 Nobel Prize, “the successful learning can possible when you allow your children to learn through experiments and failures and parents don’t be like helicopters who always hovering over the kids to protect them.” So allow your children to learn with experiments where they can learn both aspects good as well as bad.
In this epidemic people need to shift their mind towards new lessons of life, they should improve their sense of using digital technology, as we can see with the passage of time world might change its order to work with machines like robotics, education delivery through online classes, business empires use digital communication, and households done by using advance technologies etc. We need to shift our minds in creative thinking and healthy lifestyle.
Parents should involve themselves with their kids in different activities, like watching television, internet, and social media. Explain to your child that mostly news about COVID-19 on the internet may inaccurate, Try to explore authentic information about COVID-19 and educate kids to avoid false news that can cause of panic and depression. Talk to your child about different topics and engage them indoor games and meditational exercises.
Explain your children simple and authentic instructions like UNICEF and WHO provided in term of some measures that parents should know. The virus is transmitted through direct contact, so avoid direct contacts, the respiratory droplets from an infected person or by touching surfaces that are contaminated further more tell your children to maintain at least 3 feet of distance between themselves and who are coughing, sneezing and fever.
The Symptoms of corona virus can include fever, cough and shortness of breath, and in more severe cases infection can cause pneumonia or breathing difficulties, more rarely the disease can be fatal but that’s mainly among older people with pre-existing conditions
Precautions you may take as wash your hands frequently at least 20 seconds using soap and water, cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, use your elbow or can use tissue then throw it in the bin immediately after using. Use of Mask prevent from corona virus, if you don’t have any symptoms then you don’t need to wear a mask. Hand washing is actually more important. If you are coughing or sneezing, it advised to wear a medical mask to help and protect others.
Till this writing, there is no medicine to treat corona virus. The best thing you can do is practice basic hygiene and take healthy food to maintain your immune system to fight with any disease.
Encourage your child to practice these instructions playfully and not take these precautions as panic. Teach them as a child and give them good remarks when they follow these instruction. As John Lennon said, “everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end”.
The Writer is a lecturer at the BZU Multan

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