The Coronavirus pandemic is a dynamic situation, and things that are constantly changing often result in uncertainty, which in turn result in anxiety. During these times, your children may not entirely understand what is happening around the world and will look to you for answers, so you should be well prepared to be there for them.
We’ve created a list of tips below to help you do just that:
- Exercise self-care. It’s hard to be there and care for other people when you aren’t caring for yourself. By staying physically and mentally healthy, you’ll be more equipped to handle things that come your way. Kids tend to pick up on a lot more than we give them credit for, so if you constantly have negative feelings, it may rub off on them as well. Likewise, if you have positive feelings, it might influence theirs too.
- Get the facts. Misinformation is anxiety inducing, wasteful, and potentially harmful. Ensure that you get all your information from credible sources and that you remain informed of the situation. Dispel any myths or doubts your children may have immediately and try to limit their exposure to rumors and uninformed guesses.
- Be honest. Don’t try to hide the situation in fluffy words that will change their perception of how severe the situation is. It’s important to find a balance between not scaring your children, but also making sure that they understand the importance of its dangers.
- Stay focused. Rather than trying to find blame or attribute the cause/source of Coronavirus to a certain ethnic group, remember that being part of the solution is much more important. Scientists and health professionals around the world are investigating the source of the virus in order to gain a better understanding of it in hopes of finding a vaccine, so it’s best to leave that to them. Focus on following the instructions set forth by local health authorities to remain safe.
- Offer reassurance. Make sure your children know that you’ll always be there for them, and that it isn’t going to be like this forever. While the number of infection cases and deaths as a result of Coronavirus have grown exponentially, keep in mind that the number of recoveries have increased substantially as well. Small reminders like this help put things into perspective and lets your kids understand that things have and will continue to get better.
- Maintain a healthy routine. There’s going to be changes for sure, but making sure that there is a structure will help you and your kids gain a sense of familiarity and certainty, which could greatly help in avoiding overthinking and therefore reducing anxiety.
- Keep doing what you’re doing! Continue to exercise social distancing, proper hand-washing and hygienic techniques, and all other safety precautions. Reward good habits to reinforce them and remind your children that these not only protect themselves, but others around them as well.