Daily Observer (Jamaica)
Parenting a new baby in COVID times
Sharing is caring
•Use social media, phone calls and anything at your disposal to reach out and connect with others.
•Take turns with others to care for your baby. Take time
•Sleep when your baby sleeps so you have energy.
Communicating with your baby
•Follow your baby’s lead by copying or mirroring. •Repeat and react to their babble or words.
•Use your child’s name when you speak to your baby.
•Use words to describe what your baby is doing.
Learning with your baby
•Make their environment interesting.
•Babies respond to stimulation.
•Let your baby explore the world through the five senses.
Babies learn through play
•Get to your baby’s level and make sure they can see and hear you.
•Play peek-a-boo, sing songs or lullabies, stack blocks or cups.
•Make music together: banging on pots, playing with rattlers, shaking jars with beans.
•Share books together — even at a very early age! Describe what is happening in the pictures. Let your baby explore books with all of the senses.
When babies cry
•Respond to your baby immediately.
•Check to see what is making your baby cry. •Swaddling or gently rocking can help calm your baby. •Singing a lullaby or playing soft music can be soothing. •Keep calm and take a break! You can place your baby in a safe place on their back and then walk away. Be sure to check on your baby every five to 10 minutes.
•If you think your baby is injured or ill, call a health service provider or visit a clinic.
Be gentle with your children as they learn, but also with yourself as the parent!
Just because something didn’t go well today or you lost your temper, this doesn’t define who you are as a parent. Remind yourself of the things you did well today, even if they may seem small.
Here are some tips for keeping your children safe online during COVID-19, provided by UNICEF.
- Adults targeting children for sexual purposes on social media, gaming, and messaging platforms.
- Harmful content — violence, misogyny, xenophobia, inciting suicide and self-harm, misinformation, etc.
- Teens sharing personal information and sexual photos or videos of themselves.
- Cyberbullying from peers and strangers.
Tech fixes to protect your children online
- Set up parental controls.
- Turn on Safesearch on your browser.
- Set up strict privacy settings on online apps and games.
- Cover webcams when not in use.
Create healthy and safe online habits
- Involve your child or teen in creating family tech agreements about healthy device use.
- Explore websites, social media, games, and apps together.
- Talk to your teen on how to report inappropriate content.
Keep your children safe with open communication
- Tell your children that if they experience something online that makes them feel upset, uncomfortable, or scared, they can talk to you and you will not get mad or punish them.
- Be alert to signs of distress. Notice if your child is being withdrawn, upset, secretive, or obsessed with online activities.
- Create trusting relationships and open communication through positive support and encouragement.
Note that every child is unique and may use different ways to communicate. Take time to adjust your message for your child’s needs. For example, children with learning disabilities may require information in a simple format.