Keeping Your Child Emotionally Healthy
Updated: Jul 8, 2020
This time right now is a lot to process for children. The disruption of normal activities, the sudden split from friends, and the fear of the virus itself. This kind of thinking can take a toll on your child’s emotional health. In younger children, you might notice them being clingier or regression. Older children might be more irritable, and their moods will swing quickly.
So how can we help our children during this time of change and uncertainty?
Be a Good Role Model: Children are great imitators, and they always look to their parents to see how to react to certain situations. During this time, while you’re around your child constantly, modeling is so important. Kids learn from us how to manage stress and solve problems during difficult times. This also means that you parents need to take care of yourself and practice self-care. When you are calm, your child is calm.
Create a Flexible Routine: Structure makes kids feel safe, but that does not mean every second should be planned. The best thing you can do right now is be consistent. Have lunch around the same time each day. Carve out ten or fifteen minutes every day to talk with your child about their feelings or play a game. Your child will appreciate the routine and not the rigidness.
Be Honest: Always be honest with your child, but do not overshare. When your child asks you a question, be direct and to the point, and do not add in details that might seem important to adults. Tell them what you know and don’t know, but also add that people are working on this virus, and social distancing is being effective. Reassuring them that they are safe and protected at home is a big deal. Most importantly, acknowledge their feelings. This helps your child feel head, seen, and understood.
Relaxing Time: Whether this means screen time or outdoor time, your child needs a little while to relax. Let them watch a cartoon or a movie while you work, but be sure to monitor what they are watching. After, head outside and get some sunshine to replenish those vitamins. Both times will create memories, especially if the screen time is with the whole family.
Take care of your child and yourself!