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The current pandemic situation strongly confronted families: on the one hand with a certain social isolation, and on the other hand with being locked up in the proverbial four walls with their loved ones. For many of us, neither one nor the other has proved easy. An additional challenge was dealing with children who were also isolated from their peers. Recently, the youngest students can enjoy going back to school, but most extracurricular activities are canceled and after-school meetings are still limited.

Stress visible in the body

So how do you deal with your baby at home? It's best to start with a conversation. Our interventions will be more effective if we know what the child feels, and we will not rely on guesses and beliefs. Children may feel lonely in their peers, miss group activities. Such partial isolation causes the accumulation of tensions and stress, there are outbursts of anger, crying, whining, discouragement, etc. Tensions and stresses are immediately felt in the body - stress abdominal or headaches are very common ailments in children. Various gastrointestinal problems, such as: diarrhea, nausea, lack of appetite or the feeling of excessive hunger, are often the result of experienced stress, because it causes an imbalance in the body, the process of secreting certain hormones and inhibiting the secretion of others. Parts of the nervous system get excited as the baby's body prepares to fight.

The intense response of the digestive system to the experienced stress is caused by the fact that the intestinal neurons and the central nervous system of a person are linked on a biochemical and physical level. These pathways of exchanging information between the brain and the intestines were called the brain-gut axis. The digestive tract communicates with the brain through the vagus nerve, substances produced by intestinal bacteria (serotonin, melatonin, GABA and acetylcholine), and the immune system. The intestinal microbiota can be supported by taking probiotics containing strainsLactobacillus helveticus Rosell®- 52 andBifidobacterium longum Rosell®- 175, which - as research has confirmed - improves mood, reduces anxiety and reducesunpleasant gastro-intestinal discomfort caused by stress. Probiotics, which - in addition to the typical properties such as improving the condition of the intestines or protecting the intestines against pathogenic bacteria - also have a beneficial effect on mental he alth, are called psychobiotics. Thanks to psychobiotics, we can support both children and ourselves.

Movement equals he alth

A child's body - body and brain - needs activity. As you already know, all tensions and stresses in children feel in the body, movement is a good way to relieve them. Besides, children are incredibly interesting cognitively, it is a period of intense development, it would be a shame not to take advantage of their natural need to learn (and I do not mean learning typical school skills). These two needs for body and brain activity can be met by walking together every day.

I often hear from parents that children don't like to walk. Unfortunately, it is quite common to see a child shuffling with his feet, trailing behind a parent talking on the phone. Such a walk is really not an attraction. Children love to spend time with their parents (in the case of teenagers it can be different), but the parent must be available to the child not only with the body. Walks need to be made more attractive so that the cognitively curious brain of a little man has entertainment. With smaller children you can count trees, passing cars, estimate their speed, play guessing games ("I see something red", etc.), watch birds, watch the changing weather, talk about the sides of the world while the sun goes down, organize small races. I guarantee that every child will like such walks!

It is also worth introducing a short (ten-minute) but regular activity at home, e.g. in the form of daily family gymnastics. A good way to encourage more resistant sandwiches is to introduce the rule that once you give birth you invent such gymnastics, and once this is the responsibility of the child. However, if we decide on such a rule, and I strongly encourage you to do so, then with all the consequences - if the child came up with crazy dance for this day, more like a ritual dance than exercise - then let's dance!

Tangled in the net

Locking a child at home is also associated with increasing their online activity. When looking for contact with colleagues, kids have always eagerly reached for computers and mobile phones, but nowadays it is sometimes their only way of communication. In addition, digital technologies provide almost unlimited access to various types of fairy tales or attractive films, and children enjoy it. Unfortunately, this situation favors the so-called "Absorbedinto the web ”, which is called cyberbullying. The topic of the abuse of digital technologies by children and young people is very topical and would certainly require a separate article. By the way, I will only mention that you can take care of your child's he alth, following a few guidelines: until the age of three, children's contact with cyber toys and TV should be limited to the maximum, and up to the age of 13, the child's online functioning or watching TV should end before 9 p.m. . Let us make sure that children do not use two digital tools at the same time, and that night and evening should be free of cybertechnology. Remember also to install parental filters.

A good plan is not a bad

A good idea for organizing the child's day is to create a schedule, because it will introduce order and a certain routine - it will help parents organize activities and entertainment, as well as facilitate he althy control and execution of duties, and increase the child's sense of security. In addition, writing down a day plan and hanging it in a visible place significantly increases the chance of its implementation. There should be a specific time limit for completing the tasks, this discourages children from using distractions. There is a good chance that, having a time limit, they will direct their attention to a specific activity. Closing the classes within the time frame will also make it easier for parents - and so difficult - task: limiting the time for shared entertainment. Everyone knows how difficult it is for a child to return to other activities after playing with mum or dad. And the parent needs time for himself as well.

In this difficult reality, in which both parents and children have to find themselves, let's be understanding for each other. Sometimes the schedule of the day will look nice only on the fridge, and we will come back from the walk argued, don't treat it as a failure.

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