Schools are closed.
Ballet, soccer, and baseball seasons are canceled.
There are no playdates or trips to the museum. This is our new normal.
The reality is that we’re living in unprecedented times. With state and nationwide closures and restrictions, many people are left feeling anxious and uneasy- especially children.
And, if you’re a parent, you might find yourself struggling with how to explain the situation to your children without causing fear. Here are some times that can help you talk to your children about the Coronavirus as the outbreak continues.
Help Them Feel Safe
The real enemy is the anxiety surrounding COVID-19 that can be especially difficult for children to deal with. From their perspective, it seems like the world is shutting down around them. Disrupted routines and isolation can really start to take a toll. Help your children adapt to their new normal by creating a safe and healthy environment at home.
Watch your tone when you speak. Keep them from viewing sensationalized
media stories. Find ways for them to safely connect with loved ones and friends through video chat and phone calls. Above all, continue to reassure them that this is just a temporary situation.
Even though we can’t predict the future or know what to expect in the coming weeks, remember that children thrive on routines. Help them create some reliability and consistency in these uncertain times by putting together a schedule for the day.
Let your children know what to expect. Be honest about the time you’ll spend at home and come up with creative ways to not only pass the time, but to enjoy the togetherness!
Lead With Empathy
Children have a lot of emotional needs and it’s important to let them continue to express the way they are feeling. For example, it can be very frustrating that they will miss an upcoming field trip to the zoo. Acknowledge their feelings and frustrations and help them work through these big emotions. In the end, you’re really helping to build their mental resilience.
The days ahead will likely continue to be a challenge for us all as we adjust to our new normal.
The good news is that there’s never been a better time to slow down and focus on what you have. Now is the time to create positive change and celebrate the beauty of togetherness within your family.
Use this time to connect with your family and shower your children with love!