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Just being kids… Tough task of keeping children indoors

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Jemimah Musau is a mother of two, a 10-year-old and an eight-year-old.

It’s been a trying couple of weeks for her since the government shut down schools indefinitely due to the coronavirus crisis.

Her children know about the disease, well, as much as children within this age group would comprehend, and know that they could contract it if they went out to play.

But 16 days indoors, it seems, is too much for children that had been used to spending most of their waking hours either in school or outside playing. “Our block has 30 apartments, and most of the tenants have children. Therefore, my children have plenty of friends to play with,” says Ms Musau.

When the government closed all schools on March 16, the neighbours agreed that no child should be let out to play until things went back to normal. “We figured that it would be counterproductive to pull them out of school to protect them from the virus and then expose them to it at home,” she says.

Unfortunately, her children are more irritable than usual and are fighting more, factors she attributes to being confined indoors for long.

“Once in a while, they fight like all siblings do, but now the disagreements have increased, such that I am sometimes forced to place them in different rooms until they calm down,” Ms Musau offers.

Studies show that being confined in one place for an extended period of time can have negative psychological effects on a person, and no, children are not immune. Their world has been turned upside down. All of a sudden, they were pulled out of school and locked up at home.

READ ALSO:   Here’s the cluster of professions allowed to work during curfew hours

Many parents confess that they have no idea how to respond to the situation they find themselves in.

“How do you explain this to a three-year-old?” poses Ms Wangui Kariuki, who is having a difficult time getting her daughter to stay indoors.

Ms Eunice Bickett told her three-year-old son that the wind had blown too much dirt outside, therefore they had to wait until it recedes so they can play. She figured this was easier for him to comprehend than a lesson on a virus that even scientists are yet to fully comprehend.

However, Ms Mercy Kamau is having a relatively easier time.

“My son is five, and he understands that he cannot go out until this ‘corona’ goes away. In fact, he reminds us to wash our hands regularly and clean our phones,” she says. Ms Kamau ensures her son is engaged throughout the day with school work infused with fun activities. She has gone a step further and drawn a weekly timetable outlining what her son needs to be doing at any given time.

Herein lies the key to helping your children better to adjust to their new restrictive environment — structure. Psychologist Anne Wambua advises parents to draft a schedule for their children.

“Have a timetable that lists when to study, when to play, when to have meals, even when to sleep — this will not only keep them occupied, hence avoiding boredom, it will also motivate them and give them a sense of purpose,” says Ms Wambua.

READ ALSO:   Governors oppose return to lockdown 

Also, allow some form of social engagement, for instance having a video chat with their favourite cousins or calling their grandparents since they cannot visit.

“Children thrive and flourish in an environment of structure and predictability. During the school term, these two conditions are met by the school environment and nature of learning: timetable, scheduled play time and homework — the shutting down of schools threw this into disarray,” says Ms Sarah Karioki, a counselling psychologist with the Amani Counselling Centre and Training Institute.

“For children, play is their language and the medium through which they learn how to interact with their environment. This method of learning has been hugely disrupted by the social distancing rule. They are being kept away from their friends/playmates for reasons that may not be quite clear to them,” she offers.

Ms Karioki says this could lead to anxiety and frustration, which may manifest as tantrums, wilful breaking of rules, poor appetite and even loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities. Psychosomatic tendencies (physical symptoms such as headaches and stomachaches with no medical evidence) may also be present.

Online programmes are among the measures being implemented by public and private learning institutions to return some semblance of normalcy in children’s lives.

However, more needs to be done to better cope with the indefinite stay-at-home directive since it is not just about education, there needs to be a balance.

READ ALSO:   Family seeks justice after kin assaulted by police during curfew dies

The psychologist suggests the following ways to prepare children for the present and the future.

“Be well informed yourself. Gather information from the right sources to avoid spreading falsehoods and pass this information to your children in manageable pieces by keeping it short and simple,” she advises, warning against locking up your children in the house alone since it may make them feel confused, abandoned and scared.

As for the looming economic hardship that is projected, as parents adjust their lives accordingly, they should communicate these changes to their children and why they are necessary.

“Let the children know that this is an adversity being experienced all over the world and that they will have to do without, for instance, some of the things they were accustomed to before the crisis.”

Once you deal with the anxiety and frustration, initiate the adaptation process at home level: establish their new norm. You will have better results if you involve the children in coming up with new routines and structures that accommodate learning at home.

“Also assign them responsibilities around the home to teach them a skill. Live in the moment and be intentional about the quality of life your children will live going forward.”

BY NATION


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Business

Bodaboda chama grows into a multi-million shilling housing cooperative

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A journey of a thousand many miles starts with a single step. A Nakuru-based bodaboda operator’s self-help group proved this in its growth. Driven by the ambition to have something to take home once they couldn’t ride any more, ten bodaboda operators from Barut, Nakuru West in 2015 formed Kianjahi Group, pooling a minimum savings of Sh100 per week per person.

“Being a bodaboda operator is a risky job and has serious effect on one’s health especially if you don’t dress properly for the cold. After attending a seminar in Machakos we decided to start making savings,” said Benson Sigei, the group chairperson.

The group grew as more members joined in 2016. After evaluating their progress, the members increased their weekly savings to Sh200 and eventually to Sh1,000.

“Before the year ended we were nearly 100 members. Our savings were growing and we had to come up with plans which some members considered as too ambitious and pulled out,” says Sigei. With savings of nearly Sh2 million, they bought a 1.6-acre piece of land which was previously a sand quarry.

“It cost us Sh2.1 million in buying the land and rehabilitating it to usable standards. We embarked on making savings for constructing houses which would be of similar design,” he said.

READ ALSO:   Governors oppose return to lockdown 

To make this possible they converted the group into Kianjahi Housing Cooperative Society Limited and introduced Sh15,100 registration fee and minimum share capital of Sh60,000 payable in Sh500 weekly instalments.

AmpThe group started the construction of two-bedroom houses in a gated community model.

“Every member now contributes a minimum of Sh1,500 for savings every week. Those yet to clear their share capital make an additional payment of Sh500. This amount does not exert great pressure on the riders since the majority make nearly KShs1,000 per day.

The group then started the construction of two-bedroom houses in a gated community model where four houses sit on every 50 by 100 feet plot. The cooperative completed the construction of the first 50 units majority of which have already been occupied.

“We took a Sh15 million loan and in addition to our savings we bought an additional acre of land at Sh2.1 million. In the first phase, we have constructed 52 housing units. 35 members have already moved in,” said the vice-chairman.

The cooperative has bought a third parcel of land on which they intend to set up houses for all members. Members who moved in during the first phase like pay Sh2,000 per month. Sh200 goes to savings and Sh1,800 going towards offsetting the cost of construction. The payment for the houses is spread over seven years.

READ ALSO:   Here’s the cluster of professions allowed to work during curfew hours

by Standardmedia.co.ke


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Health

Kenyans Woman Spikes Lover’s Drink, Transfers Sh1.7mn From His Bank Account – police

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A woman has been arrested in the Kenyan coast after spiking his drink, and stealing Sh1.7 million from his bank account.

24-year-old Beatrice Mueni Mbiu had been on the run since September 8 when the incident occurred at a night club in Nyali, Kwale County.

“She took off alongside her two accomplices but we got her,” a DCI detective told Capital FM News, “she will be charged on Monday even as we seek the other two.”

The detective said the suspect had been positively identified by the victim.

According to police, the woman first spiked the man’s drink then stole his phone which she used to transfer Sh1.7 million from his bank account.

Detectives said they relied on the club’s CCTV images and footage to identify and trace the suspect.

Drink-spiking is common in night clubs frequented by commercial sex workers in major towns including Nairobi and Mombasa where they target both locals and foreigners.

-Capitalfm.co.ke


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READ ALSO:   Here’s the cluster of professions allowed to work during curfew hours
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Lifestyle

Young African boy creates his own ‘ATM’ that dispenses new notes

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Africa is filled with amazing talents, that goes without much debates.

There have been instances where young people have demonstrated unmatchable skills like a Nigerian man who used pencils to create an amazing 3D drawing.

Young Nigerian boy creates his own ATM

The little boy knelt shyly in front of the camera as he demonstrated how his machine works. Photo: Gidi_Traffic
Source: UGC

A video of a young boy has added to the repositories of Africans whose works have found visibility online.

In the clip, the young boy showcased the contraption he made with carton boxes.

When asked what it is, the boy said it an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM).

He demonstrated how it works as new naira notes dashed out of a hole to the floor.

On one hand, he held what looked like the battery that powered the machine.

His creation became known months after yet another Nigerian kid did something similar but with a different body design that mimics the real ATM.

Meanwhile, TUKO.co.ke earlier reported how a 14-year-old Nigerian boy, named Praise Kelechi, showed off his improvisational skill of using cartons to create robots and other superhero costumes.

In an interview with BBC, the boy, while, displaying the Iron Man suit replica he made, said he was worked on it before the lockdown but had more time to perfect it as school was on a forced holiday.

READ ALSO:   Here’s the cluster of professions allowed to work during curfew hours

He gave this piece of advice:

“I want to tell the world that no matter how rich or poor you may be, you can still be whatever you want to be and do whatever you want. It does not matter the resources available or not, you can just be who you are.”

by Tuko.co.ke


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