Tina Antinyan, who has two boys--Arturik, 8, and Aram, 5, has already noticed some changes in Arturik’s attitude and behavior.
“They understand--we explained to them that it is not allowed to leave the house, it is necessary to limit contact with other people,” she says, underscoring that she and her husband are trying to educate the children about the danger, but not frighten them.
Arturik seems to be taking the situation in stride—he carefully explains how he puts on a mask and washes his hands, adding that before he used to let people give him a kiss on the check but not these days. Now, he explains, only his grandparents and parents can kiss him because they live in the same house.
“Staying home for a long time becomes really difficult, they start creating games for themselves, often resulting in breaking and destroying something,” his mother, Tina Antinyan, notes. “A parent must be 100 percent devoted to the children; someone must constantly keep them busy.”
Even the internet, once a favorite pastime, cannot hold Arturik’s attention for long these days. The online school lessons became a source of frustration, since the Wi-Fi signal would cut off and it was hard to hear the teacher’s explanations. He also missed his friends.
The younger the children, the more difficulty they have understanding the situation, according to educators. Kindergartens reopened on May 21 for parents who had to return to work. They have to follow strict social distancing and preventive guidelines: frequent checks for temperature and maintaining six feet (two meters) of distance between the children.
There are extra precautions as well: the playground is regularly disinfected and the teachers also try to keep the children’s hands sanitized with hand gel. In addition, parents bring food from home for their children. The bed linen is also washed at home now.