By: Blessing Adedimeji Adeyanju.
Updated on April 25, 2020.
The best you can give to children during this period is your attention. Your attention will mean a lot to them and will reduce the feeling of loneliness in them. We are here to support children’s mental health.
The major goals of this second challenge are:
- To build children’s self-esteem.
- To give children a sense of belongingness.
- To improve children’s mental health.
The parents challenge: Second challenge.
- Take breakfast, lunch, and dinner with your family.
- After each meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), discuss something that your children may be curious about (e.g. Sport, Covid19, school, politics, and career e.t.c). The discussion should last for 10 –15 minutes. It can last longer, as long as your children are not bored.
Note: You may take this challenge with your phone switched off, to avoid distractions. Make sure your children are allowed to join the discussion.
After taking the challenge, you may use the comment session to tell us about your experience with your children.
The article below, which covers the importance of family meals on children’s development, may help you appreciate the challenge better.
Importance of family meal.
Children may engage in different chores at home, but doing those home chores brings a feeling that is different from being at the table with their family. While home chores might be perceived as a strenuous activity to them, family meals will serve as a form of relief from various strenuous activities.
It is crystal clear to parents, teachers, and guardians that academic settings are now designed to help children’s cognition, emotions and even their social life. But to assume that a child’s cognitive, social, and emotional development depends only on a child’s academic environment, would be a big mistake that can be made by parents, guardians, and teachers. Children’s emotional, cognitive, and social development is so much dependent on their immediate environment – the family. Doing things together as a family, especially having meals together can go a long way in developing a child’s emotions, cognition, and social interactions.
Children and adolescents eating more meals together with their families have fared better on measures of psychological adjustment and have engaged in fewer risk behaviors ( Miller, Waldfogel & Han, n.d). Dinner is a perfect opportunity to build self-esteem in children (Standford children’s health, 2019). “Teens who continue to connect with their parents by eating dinner with their family fare better” (U.S. Council of Economic Advisors, 2000, as cited in Miller, Waldfogel & Han, n.d).
Children who routinely eat their meals together with their family are more likely to experience long-term physical and mental health benefits, a new study shows (ScienceDaily, 2017). “Parents’ presence during mealtimes likely provides young children with firsthand social interaction, discussions of social issues and day-to-day concerns, and vicarious learning of prosocial interactions in a familiar and emotionally secures setting (ScienceDaily, 2017). While children are at the table with their parents, they will benefit from the topics their parents and other members of the family are discussing. The discussion can expose a child to sport, politics, and entertainment e.t.c. Experiencing positive forms of communication may likely help the child engage in better communication skills with people outside of the family unit (ScienceDaily, 2017).
If you are interested in reading the article that will help you deal with isolation in children, click here
Miller, D.P., Waldfogel, J. & Han, W. (n.d). Family Meals and Child Academic and Behavioral Outcomes. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
ScienceDaily (2017). Eating together as a family helps children feel better, physically and mentally: Long term effects of family meals in early childhood. Retrieved from: http://www.sciencedaily.com
Standford children’s health. (2019). Why the family meal is important. Retrieved from: http://www.stanfordchildrens.org
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