The current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in a lot of fear and uncertainty. Parents and children are being holed up at home, making it hard for parents to keep their cool at all times. We know it can be overwhelming to parent antsy kids that are stuck at home and have nothing to do, but it is essential to make your child feel safe, maintain healthy routines, and manage their behavior.
To help parents during this challenging time, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has suggested these following tips:
Address Your Child’s Fears
Children rely on you for their physical as well as emotional safety. Keep reassuring your child that you are in this as a family and that you will get through it together.
Be Honest About the Pandemic
Make sure you answer your child’s questions about COVID-19 honestly. Frame your answers in an easy to understand and non-scary way. Tell them that people are getting sick and losing their life because of the infection, but also educate them about the importance of washing their hands and social distancing. Tell them scientists and doctors are working hard to find a cure for sick people.
Identify Your Child’s Feelings
You can help older kids and teenagers by asking guiding questions. This allows a more open and clear conversation between you and your child, which results in a sense of understanding.
Instead of asking them, “Why are they upset?” you can ask them, “I know it is upsetting not to be able to meet and hang out with your friends, right now. What do you think can help?”
Stay Connected to Loved Ones
As grandparents or other susceptible adults might not be able to visit children due to increased risk of COVID-19, it might make your child worried. Please make sure you let your child see and talk to them through video call regularly.
Inform Your Child When You Step Out
Before you leave the house for essential errands or work, inform your child in a calm and reassuring voice. Keep them informed about the place you are going, how long it will take, and about all the precautions you will take to stay safe.
Keep Healthy Routines
It is essential to maintain bedtime and other routines, especially during this pandemic. Routines provide the child with a sense of order, which offers reassurance in a very uncertain time.
Remember to Care for Yourself: Parents and caregivers should eat healthily, exercise, and get proper sleep. Do things that you enjoy while you care for your kids.