The COVID-19 pandemic is changing family life. UNESCO estimates that 1.37 billion children are out of school or kindergarten and do not have access to group activities and sports or playgrounds. Parents and caregivers try to work remotely, and some are unable to work and care for their children. Moreover, tolerating quarantine conditions has become a challenge for parents. One of these challenges is parenting. Just as we adults have changed our behaviors in these situations, children are certainly no exception to this rule. They exhibit behavioral changes such as restlessness, boredom, sadness, stubbornness, anxiety and fear; leading mood and sleep disorders. For many parents, keeping their children safe and at home is frightening. For those living in low-income and busy households, these challenges are exacerbated. Evidence shows that violence and vulnerability for children increase during school holidays. Rates of child abuse increase during school closures. Parents and children live with high stress, media hype, and fear, all of which challenge our long-term tolerance and thinking ability.
But, on the other hand, this difficult time can provide a creative opportunity to build stronger relationships with children and adolescents. COVID-19 is not the first virus to threaten humanity, and it will not be the last. We must use effective strategies to care for and protect our children and families. Spending time with children, valuing and respecting them, avoiding helicopter parenting, creating an atmosphere of participation and cooperation at home, not discriminating between children, not comparing children with each other or others, and avoiding over-expectation are items that parents should consider in raising their children. Parents can communicate effectively with their children through strategies such as empathy and understanding of children's feelings, inventing family games, having a regular schedule at home, and reducing auditory and visual stimuli at home (by cleaning and emptying rooms, avoiding noise pollution).