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Helping Kids Deal With Anxiety Related to the Coronavirus

It can be especially difficult to feel that we are doing our best with parenting during this challenging time, as we are all facing our own anxieties and mental health challenges. Fortunately, there are some strategies we can use to help our children deal with COVID-19 related anxieties.


Adults aren’t the only ones facing anxiety and mental health issues thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. Kids are facing more challenges than ever before as they learn to cope with distance learning, scary news, and a nearly constant feeling of missing friends and activities.




It can be especially difficult to feel that we are doing our best with parenting during this challenging time, as we are all facing our own anxieties and mental health challenges. Fortunately, there are some strategies we can use to help our children deal with COVID-19 related anxieties.


Here are five ways that parents can help kids cope with their anxieties related to this time of coronavirus:


Finding the Good

Children may be overwhelmed by hearing about death and sickness and all that they can no longer do. To combat this pervasive sense of negativity, it can be helpful for both children and parents to be on the lookout for good news to share with each other on a daily basis. This can be a perfect regular topic for dinner time as a family.


Establishing Routine

So much has changed in the routines of both parents and children everywhere. When we lose our sense of routine and familiarity, we can all often feel untethered and anxious. This is especially true for kids who need the comfort of routines and predictable transitions.

Setting up a clear schedule on a white board or as a list taped to your refrigerator can be helpful to many kids. It is especially helpful if they can help you plan the schedule for the next day or week as a way for them to preview what is coming up.


Limiting Media Consumption

Right now, we are all probably staring at screens more than we ever have in our lives. There is no need to pass judgment on this as we are all doing our best to get through an unprecedented time. That said, it’s especially hard to keep news updates, sad stories, and hard to watch videos from flashing across our screens.


This is an important time to be talking with kids about navigating the digital world and digital citizenship safely and with more awareness. Even if your child is at an age that you deem appropriate for taking in most kinds of news, the gravity of much of what is being reported these days can be too much for anyone to handle. You might consider looking into the parental controls that are available on both your TVs and technology devices.


Modeling Behavior

None of us are at our best right now, and being honest with kids about this is important. As we try to navigate this difficult parenting time, we want to try to avoid extremes. Having meltdowns can be as equally unhelpful for our kids as pretending everything is just fine. We need to find some authenticity right in the middle. Consider sharing that you sometimes feel anxious or that there are things that you miss during this time. Reflect aloud about how it helps you to talk about it and that you are glad to have a family member who can listen.


Staying Active Together

Self-care has never been so important. Unfortunately, this is hard for many of us to add to our overwhelming schedule as we try to work and parent and guide remote learning at the same time. It can be helpful to recognise that when you set aside family physical activity or self-care time, you are helping both yourself and your family at the same time.

You might all enjoy de-stressing together by taking long walks, going on scavenger hunts in nature, or playing a family game of wiffle ball.


Published with courtesy to:

https://www.familyeducation.com/coronavirus-resources-for-parents/helping-kids-deal-with-anxiety-related-to-the-coronavirus


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