Dear parents, your family’s mental health is extremely important during this outbreak of COVID-19, here is some advice on how to handle this event we are all experiencing…
- Remain calm: Be mindful of your reactions. It is very important as children tend to react more off of a parent’s reaction than what they hear on the news. Kids need to know they are safe and secure. Reassure them that they are going to be okay and you that you will get through this together.
- Limit news/media exposure: The news and media can be very alarming and confusing for all. Having the news on 24/7 can increase anxiety and fears that can affect the entire family.
- Know your audience: Use age appropriate language with your kids. Try to avoid using alarming words like “disaster” and “catastrophe”.
- Separate fact from fear: Make wise and responsible choices for you and your family by reminding them to wash their hands often, keep distance in large public gatherings and avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
- Set goals and keep a schedule: Things will be out of sorts for a while. Kids do better with some kind of predictability and structure.
- Make the best of it: Relax. Take a deep breath. This is a great opportunity to reconnect. Play board games, watch family movies together, get outdoors, be creative with fun things that can keep everyone busy and distracted.
- With older kids, Have open conversations about the facts: Reassure them with of your family’s plan. If you don’t have a plan in place yet, explain that you are working on one. Always show confidence and check in with your child(ren) often. Remember to talk with your child(ren) at their level of understanding.
Please visit our dedicated webpage: www.pediatricpartners.com/coronavirus for up-to-date information and recommendations.
Pediatric Partners - with you, for your child, for years to come….
Raquel Anderson, EdD, LMHC, NCC