We’re living in unprecedented times. Your probably never imagined in your wildest dreams would be this occupied all day every day. The COVID-19 lockdown has changed the parameters of normal living for us. Perhaps forever. One thing’s for sure, parents all over the world have had to adjust to having their kids at home all day every day. They’ve had to learn to become part time teachers as well as doing their own jobs from home. They’ve had more strain on their work / life balance than ever before. They’re battling their own stresses and anxieties while also helping their little ones to manage theirs. The lockdown could prove seriously distressing for many children and their parents may find it difficult to mitigate the effects on their mental health. Especially when they’re still grappling with their own.
In the current climate, it’s common for children to become overstimulated in the home environment and this may result in all kinds of behaviors which make the business of parenting more difficult. Here we’ll look at some practical ways in which you can prevent this…
The signs of an overstimulated child
First of all, it’s important to understand the signs of overstimulation. Signs of sensory overload might be different for different children but they will usually include the following;
- Excitability or irritability
- Poor eye contact, nervousness and fidgeting
- Drowsiness, sleepiness or fatigue
- Aversion to being touched, hugs, kisses etc.
- Aversion to bright lights
Get to know these out of character behaviors and you’ll be able to recognize when your child is overstimulated.
The presence of clutter in your home does nobody any favors, really. It can make it hard to concentrate when you’re working, prevent you from being able to relax in your downtime and can contribute to your child’s sensory overload. If you haven’t already, you may want to invest in some storage furniture, and keep items that aren’t in regular use out of sight. You may be surprised by how much calmer it makes your home.
Keep it natural in your decor
Speaking of calm, the presence of synthetic materials like plastic and man made fabrics can prevent your home from feeling as calm and restful as it should. Natural materials are not just inherently more beautiful than their synthetic counterparts, their presence in your home can also have a very calming effect on the whole family. From cotton throws to wooden wall clock decor and stone paving, there are all kinds of ways in which you can work more natural materials into your decor. Keep it natural, keep it calm!
Limit screen time and toys
As parents, we tend to reward good behavior with presents such as toys or time with electronic devices. However, too much screen time, as well as the presence of too many toys in their space, can actually prove a sensory overload for kids. Moreover, the blue light from screens can inhibit the body’s production of melatonin, leading to trouble sleeping which might exacerbate any issues with attitude and behavior.
Take active steps to prevent overstimulation at home and the whole family will be calmer, healthier and happier under lockdown.