Children may respond to stress in different ways including regressing from previous milestones or becoming more clingy, anxious, withdrawing, angry or agitated, and even bedwetting. Here are five ways to help them navigate COVID-19.
- Manage your own anxieties– Children pick up on the emotions of the adults around them even when they try to hide them.
- Be honest– If they ask you if you are worried, be honest; they will know if you’re not telling the truth which will lead to even more anxiety.
- Keep a regular schedule- If they are completing the required schoolwork online, continue waking up and going to bed at the same time that they would have if they were attending classes in person. Wear something other than your pajamas all day.
- Provide facts– Most children will have heard about COVID-19, particularly school-age kids and adolescents. They may have read things online, seen something on TV, or heard friends or teachers talk about the illness or may have even overheard you talking about it. In order to avoid misinformation, it is important to explain what is going on now and give them clear information about how to reduce their risk of being infected by the disease in words that they can understand depending on their age.
- Provide them with behaviors that they can model such as hand washing, limiting their intake of media surrounding the pandemic, wiping down surfaces and abiding by social distancing recommendations.