Some kids feel scared, they get worried when they see all the movements around coronavirus. They’ve heard things in the media, from their friends and parents. They can feel the tension at home or they can feel confused because their daily routine has been altered. All of this can make your kids anxious.
- If you perceive they are anxious or tense, try to remain calm yourself so that you are able to convey confidence and security in the fact that they will be ok and safe. Kids sometimes blindly reflect our feelings and concerns as their own, and as such it is important that we maintain a degree of normality. Don’t ignore the situation, rather open the possibility of talking about what is going on, but don’t let it be the core topic of their whole day.
Talk to your kids. Ask them what they’ve heard in school about coronavirus, and use that as the cue to continue explaining to them in a simple and brief manner what it is about; what are the symptoms and what we can do to avoid it. Remind them the importance of good hygiene, talk to them about the reason schools are closed and how it’s a measure to prevent people from getting the virus. Being able to talk in a natural way, without alarm, will help them feel safe, thus reducing the anxiety kids feel when they don’t understand what is going on. Take account of their age and their understanding; keep in mind that the goal is to help them feel safe, reduce their anxiety and answer the questions they may have.
Validate their feelings. Invite them to talk or draw something related with what they are feeling, these resources will help you understand their feelings and validate them. It is important to acknowledge that loneliness, boredom, fear or anxiety can be normal reactions to a stressful situation like the one we are living.
Follow a routine. Try to maintain eating and sleeping schedules. Redesign the routine that has been altered. The daily routine is something that gives them structure and order, it makes them feel safe because it’s something they know. Nevertheless, it’s important to be flexible, keeping in mind it will be harder than usual to follow a routine.
Choose activities for every day. Wait for instructions from the school about the activities you can do online. Search continuously for online resources that offer the possibility of learning and entertaining. Choose some activities and ask your kids to come up with others. Together establish which ones you will do each day of the week. Now is a good time to include your kids in household activities, giving them a responsibility according to their age would make them feel useful and important to their family.
Breathe! These days that extra bit of patience will come in handy.