8 September 2020
Little minds probably won’t fully comprehend what they are seeing and hearing about the COVID-19 pandemic, and this may make them fearful and anxious. This is how you can help ease their anxiety.
It’s important to help your child to make sense of what’s happening. But while they need to be informed, you shouldn’t overload them with information that could lead to worry or anxiety. Help minimise their fear by sharing information with them in a way that’s easy for them to digest. Here are some guidelines:
Stick to a Routine
While your child’s usual schedule may have been disrupted, creating new systems at home could help make things feel normal. For instance, as schools are closed, create a timetable for learning activities such as educational videos, and other activities such as baking, painting, drawing or reading. Set up virtual play dates for times they would ordinarily have spent with their friends.
Be a Role Model
Show them that although you may be going through a difficult time, it’s important to take care of yourself. Encourage them to eat healthily, exercise daily and regularly talk to friends and loved ones.
Give Them Healthy Distractions
It’s easy to become overwhelmed with COVID-19 updates. Give your child and yourself some relief with a constructive distraction. This could include cooking a meal together, playing a board game, doing crafts or watching a movie.
Listen to Your Child
A child needs an adult’s attention at the best of times and even more so in times of uncertainty. Remember to listen to them when they have questions and respond to their behaviour with patience and support. It’s also okay to admit when you don’t have all the answers, but try to find out and follow up so that you validate their feelings.
One of the most important things you need to do is to reassure your child that they are safe. Let them know that it’s okay for them to feel upset or worried, and allow them to share their feelings with you. Tell them how you deal with being anxious and what makes you feel better so that they can learn how to cope.
This article is published courtesy of CareWays.