The Sharjah Child Friendly Office (SCFO) has launched ‘Parenting and Covid-19’ – an awareness campaign to support parents and families as they help their children deal with various new issues stemming from being restricted to home as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The campaign is running on the Sharjah Child Friendly City Project’s socials (@sharjahchildfriendly), and offers helpful parenting tips and engaging activities for the whole family, as well as information that concerns families and children on COVID-19.
The campaign offers key tips on how parents can talk to their children about the crisis, guidance on how to ensure their physical, mental and emotional well-being. It also offers suggestions on different activities that can be undertaken as a family to boost parent-child relationships.
Based on recommendations of international organisations, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), among others, the campaign draws information from reliable sources to promote positive practices and educate families about misinformation or fake news.
Dr Hessa Khalfan Al Ghazal, Executive Director of SCFO, said: “In these extraordinary times, we find ourselves adjusting to a new normal. The pandemic has added tremendous responsibility on every parent in the world, as they do their best to safeguard their children – from ensuring their safety, to assisting them with home schooling, patiently answering the many questions children may have related to the pandemic, and staying with them around the clock – parents are having to do all this and a lot more.”
Al Ghazal added: “Bearing these challenges in mind, SCFO rolled out this campaign to act on our commitment to support parents during this crisis. It offers workshops and sessions that children, young people and parents can participate in from the comfort of their homes. These programmes will not only answer their questions about the current situation, but also be an ideal way for parents to get closer to their children, discover their talents and engage in activities.”
Al Ghazal also noted that the campaign will share useful tips with parents on how to instill positive values in their children and enable them to take up responsibility for themselves during this tough period, as well as offer guidance on initiating dialogue based on respect and understanding.
Interactive sessions for families, children and youth
In collaboration with UNICEF, the campaign will host a series of interactive sessions for families and youth live on social media to discuss different topics such as providing psychological support to children and nutrition, among others.
Special sessions titled ‘From Sharjah’s children to children of the world’ will be facilitated for children and young people from the emirate to share information and ideas with their peers across the world.
The campaign will also include an artistic competition for children aged 2-18 years, in addition to many fun activities to keep them engaged at home.