Children’s Ability to Adapt During Quarantine

May 27, 2020
Children are much more capable of adjusting to different situations than adults. It's clear that confinement will have certain negative effects, but we can't deny children's tremendous ability to adapt during quarantine.

The effects that confinement can have on our children is something that every parent is worried about. And it’s clear that this quarantine will have both negative and positive effects on our little ones. But there’s one thing we can’t deny, and it’s the fact that children are great examples when it comes to their ability to adapt during quarantine.

Another one of the things we need to be clear on is that the effects that quarantine will have on our kids depend greatly on our circumstances. But whatever the case may be, children are survivors!

Children’s ability to adapt during quarantine

Maria Montessori said that small children have a capacity to adapt that no adult possesses, and there’s no doubt about it. From the time they’re born, children adapt to new circumstances, new learning, and new challenges. They’re our greatest example of survival.

Issues to keep in mind regarding children and confinement

The circumstances of confinement

It’s clear that a child’s ability to adapt depends very much on his or her particular circumstances. Not every child will experience quarantine in the same way. For example:

  • Living in a home with a yard, patio or terrace isn’t the same as living in a small apartment. For children, it’s easier to adapt while living in a large home where there’s plenty of room to play and burn off extra energy. For children that live in small apartments, this can be more challenging.
Children's Ability to Adapt During Quarantine

  • Living with someone who has physical or mental difficulties isn’t the same as living with family members that are all healthy. If a child witnesses a family member that suffers from depression or anxiety, the adverse effects may be great. And, as a result, adapting to this situation may be more difficult.
  • Spending quarantine in an environment where family members are patient and listen to their children is one thing. Living in a home with parents that are constantly arguing, yelling and getting angry is quite another.
  • Finally, living in a home with financial difficulties can be very stressful, especially when you’re barely making it from paycheck to paycheck. Our current circumstances keep many from being able to work and earn a living, and children pick up on constant worry and anxiety in their environment. When parents are able to remain more positive in the midst of these difficult times, it’s easier for children to cope.

And the list goes on. These are just a few examples of situations that affect children’s ability to adapt to quarantine.

Children’s ability to adapt during quarantine: An example of survival

The ability to adapt during quarantine is much greater in children than in adults. And despite our current circumstances and its possible effects, there will always be pros and cons. It’s clear that we’re going through a situation that’s unnatural and unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. But, have you ever stopped to think about the fact that children have been dealing with unnatural circumstances since they were 3 years old?

  • They’ve managed to wake up early in the morning, get dressed and eat breakfast in 5 minutes in order to get to school on time.
  • Children are constantly dealing with homework and extracurricular activities that keep them busy until late at night.
  • Many children hardly see their parents because they get home late from work and are very tired… not to mention children whose parents are divorced or travel often for work.

So, if children have been able to handle all of this, then we can trust that they’ll be able to adapt to confinement. And we can also be sure that this quarantine period will also bring about positive effects on them as well. For example, they have more time to spend with their parents.

Children's Ability to Adapt During Quarantine

Teaching children to do tasks around the house

There are many things that children don’t learn in school and it’s our job as parents to teach them. Now that you have so much time together, you can use this opportunity to practice simple everyday tasks so your children can learn. Of course, always keep their ages in mind and adapt your expectations accordingly. For example:

  • Teach your children to cook, make pizza, sew a button, bake a cake, wash dishes…
  • Personal hygiene: The habit of washing their hands frequently. Depending on your children’s age, you can also teach them to cut their own nails.
  • Cleaning: You can teach them how to change their sheets and tidy their bed, and how to dust and mop, etc.
  • Caring for plants and animals: If you have plants, your children can help you to water them. And if you have pets, give your kids the responsibility of making sure they have food and fresh water.

The amazing ability of children to adapt during quarantine will depend on these factors, which are much more decisive than confinement itself. If children see that their parents are calm, they will be as well. By merely looking at their parents, children can sense very well how things are at home.

No one saw this situation coming and no one has an instruction manual that tells us what we should do right now. But what we do know is that patience, a sense of humor, kindness, generosity, and love will help us come out on top. Don’t allow this situation to break your family down, but rather use it to come out stronger and more united than ever. Everything’s going to be okay!