This is something that has been on my mind for weeks. We know for a fact that for as long as there is no vaccine in treating the coronavirus, we will remain vulnerable. As parents, we fear most for our children\u2019s safety when life returns to normal once the Movement Control Order is completely lifted.\r\n\r\nDuring this time, no one knows for sure how best to cope with the future days. Everyone is doing the best they can, and praying for the best. Children are probably just as eager as adults to return to their normal state of life, being back in school, be with friends, resume much missed outdoor hobbies and sports. However, some things may never be the same again after we come out of the isolation state.\r\n\r\nIn view of this, we need to help our children deal with changes in lifestyle post MCO. It isn\u2019t just the outwardly things that they need to cope with, it is also the delicate matter of mental and emotional changes happening within them. Some of us are not comfortable with change, however small they may be, and children are no different. We need to\u00a0 pay more attention to take care of their well being.\r\n\r\nHere are some ways to help children cope with life after MCO, living a new kind of normal. \r\nInculcate the value of respect in children\r\nFirst and foremost, our children must understand that respect for each other\u2019s safety must come first during this unprecedented time. Our role as parents is very important in instilling the right values in our children. All measures of safety will not work if children do not have respect for guidelines, rules and people.\r\n\r\nWhen schools and daycare come back in session in the new normal, it is certain that they will have to strictly adhere to new school rules to keep everyone safe. Kids being kids, they may not fully understand the importance of it, and teachers or daycare helpers may not be able to enforce them as tightly as they wish. That\u2019s where we as parents must come in to educate our children. Let\u2019s not leave the teachers to hold the fort on their own with so many children to take care of all at once.\r\n\r\nThus, the first thing to do is to set their mindset right in this aspect. Whilst we have seen many adults breaching the MCO rules one way or other, we do not want children to follow suit. Teach them not to take things lightly and for granted, because the consequences can be dire. It is not so much as a scare tactic as it is a lesson on acting responsibly.\r\n\r\nSowing this seed of having deep respect for things will bode well for the child in all areas\r\nof life.\r\nAdjust expectations of a different lifestyle\r\nFor families that have always enjoyed outdoor activities, things may be looking very different going forward. Those wonderful weekend family hikes, runs, swims or picnics may no longer be regular outings for some families. Many may also opt to forgo family holidays for a long time.\r\n\r\nWhilst these lifestyle adjustments may not seem much of a big deal for us as adults to deal with, we should not underestimate how this will affect the psyche of children, especially for those who have found much joy in the way things were.\r\n\r\nWe need to sit them down and talk about these changes. Make them understand the change of lifestyle is necessary and temporary. Most importantly, encourage them to talk about how they feel about this change. Listen to what they have to say. And, remind them that whenever they feel down, they need to talk it out and not keep it all in, especially for teenagers. This is the time that we need to work even harder to keep communication channels open for two-way conversations.\r\nHelp them find new things and ways to enrich their lives\r\nIf much of their time will still be spent indoors after school and on weekends, why not introduce them to new things, or encourage them to explore on their own? Help them build new interests that they can do from home. Be willing to buy them supplies that they will need. Encourage them to try things they have not done before.\r\n\r\nBe it be spending their time trying out creative writing, sketching or painting, building blocks or crafting with their hands, finding their new special interests may lead to many good things apart from just filling up their time. Indulging in creative activities have helped many people in finding comfort in their lives. If the child we are dealing with is not an especially chatty one, this may be an excellent way of self-expression. The child may even feel accomplished and fulfilled with every piece of creation made, boosting their self-image at the same time.\r\nAlways be there for them\r\nThe days ahead may start to be busy once again. We will be spending less time together as a family when offices and schools beckon. Let\u2019s work on taking time out to be there for the children as much as we can, to let them know that we are there for them, to talk, listen, to solve problems together, to hug, whatever they need.\r\n\r\nAs the world heals from this pandemic and we return to more of the things we had to shun, involve the kids in planning future dates out in the sun to rejoice once again in things that warm our hearts.\r\n\r\nThe pandemic has taken a lot from everyone. The way to get through and emerge stronger is to keep our spirits high, no matter what we have been thrown into. We will find ways to make up for what we have lost. Build up positive self talk in ourselves and in our children, and spread that positivity, love and kindness generously all around.