Helping Children Cope During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Maintaining Personal Control
- The Brave Diary
- Talking About It
- Daily Routines
- Not Their Fault
COVID-19 has turned the world upside down. Many people are sick and flooding hospitals. Those that aren’t sick have been asked to stay home from work and to keep their kids home from school. While this situation affects everyone profoundly, it is likely to affect kids more so. This leaves many parents wondering how they can help their kids cope with their changed lives. Solutions for this dilemma: The following five are some of the most effective coping that parents can use to help their kids cope with the virus.
Maintaining Personal Control
Sudden life changes make the most-prepared person feel out of control. It is even more so with kids. They’re still maturing. As such, they have a harder time understanding why sudden changes are taking place, particularly when they’re dealing with something intangible, like a virus. It’s not something they can see.
According to Edutopia, one solution for this is to remind them to see what they are still in control of. Can they decide when they do their homework (if the school is still in session online)? Can they choose their morning outfit?
By allowing them to make decisions, they can see that there are still a number of things in their lives they’re still in control of. This restores the sense of control that has been lost due to the upheaval caused by the Coronavirus.
The Brave Diary
Children process the world by drawing it. A brave diary is a place where they can draw their brave moments, according to Psych Central. Did they stand up for someone who needed it? Were they the ones to hit the winning home run for their team last summer? Moments like these make them feel proud and empowered. Drawing these experiences in their journals reminds them of times when they have been brave. They can flip through this book anytime they need an emotional boost.
Talking About It
Allowing kids to talk about their feelings helps them to process them. It helps them to label what they feel and to feel validated in their experience. It also allows parents to give their kids some perspective on how life changes. While it’s true enough that COVID-19 is perhaps the biggest challenge they’ll ever face in their lifetimes, the truth is people have faced difficult times on a mass scale throughout the centuries. When kids know that they are facing something that many people have faced and overcome can help them develop a sense of perspective.
COVID-19 might be called the big disrupter of the 21st century. Just about every aspect of daily life has changed. Mom and dad are at home. So are the kids. They can’t play with their friends nor can they see their teachers.
That’s a lot of changes. In light of that, helping them maintain a routine is important. Parents can make sure they eat breakfast at the same time each day and go to bed at the same time. If they’re taking classes online, they can help them with their homework. Keeping routines allows your kids to maintain a sense of normalcy and safety, something that is often lacking during a crisis.
Not Their Fault
It is in children’s natures to blame themselves for the bad things that happen in life. It is the way young kids’ minds are wired. Parents can counteract this somewhat by reassuring them that nothing that’s happening with the virus is their fault.
This pandemic has been a life-changing event for everyone. Because it is an intangible threat, it is hard for kids to really grasp what it is and why it has changed their lives. The tips in this article are meant to give parents some guidance as they try to help their kids move through this experience. True enough, COVID-19 is a game-changer, but with the right tools, both parents and children can learn to cope with this new reality.