It’s normal for children and young people to be concerned and worried about the coronavirus pandemic. Children have also been impacted by the current situation as their schools shut and their favourite clubs closed.
Here are five tips you can do to help your child during the coronavirus pandemic:
1. Allow your child to ask questions: Naturally, children will worry about the coronavirus. Your child may be anxious or concerned about what coronavirus is and how it will affect them. It is important to provide the child with space and time to ask questions. Spending time listening and talking about your child’s feelings and thoughts can help to reduce their worries and make them feel safe.
2. Reassure your child: You may not know the answers to all the questions your child asks, but that is absolutely okay. There are questions that none of us have the answers to. Reassuring the child when you do not have the answers can help ease their anxiety. Reassurance could sound like “that is really good question. I have not thought of that one. Is that something that you have been thinking of?” or it can be “what a great question! I don’t know the answer to it, but we can look together to find out”.
3. Give children practical guidance: Your child may no longer be attending school or doing the activities they previously used to which could make them feel agitated or bored. This is your opportunity to get creative and think of ways that will help your child stay happy and calm whilst they are at home during the coronavirus pandemic. This could include resting, playing, helping to cook or bake and spending quality time together. Remember to also enjoy the time you have with your child.
4. Try to implement a routine: The coronavirus pandemic may have been stressful for many due to the changes in their daily routine. Implementing a routine at home for your child can bring them comfort, consistency and security. Daily routines might include meal times, household chores, family time and what time they need to wake up and get ready in the morning.
5. Being aware of our own feelings: Children can pick up on our feelings so it is extremely important that we, as adults, manage our own worries. The coronavirus pandemic is a worrying and uncertain time for us all. By taking care of yourself, you are modelling and showing your child ways that they can look after themselves and their wellbeing. Try to reduce how much time you watch the news or scrolling on your phone which can make you feel anxious or worried. Instead try to read, go for a walk, listen to music or play games.