Kids thrive on emotional connections and predictable routines, so while some kids may be enjoying the time away from school, many may be confused and struggling to understand what has happened to the world as they know it. Remember, in times of uncertainty, it is very important to reassure the young people in your life and thoughtfully talk to them about what is going on.
Here are some tips to help kids manage the anxiety & stress around Coronavirus:
- Be open to answering questions. Kids may ask why this happened and seek to understand the impact on their life. You do not have to have all the answers, but encouraging kids to express their feelings and being open and honest will continue to instill their trust.
- Don’t project your own fears. It is natural to feel vulnerable and scared, but it’s important not to overwhelm kids with emotions and to remain calm and in control. Kids will often take emotional cues from adults. If trusted adults appear to be nervous or scared they will too.
- News of Coronavirus is everywhere so manage the flow of information. Try to avoid having TV’s on stations that continue to report the event, and monitor your child’s intake of information on social media. Don’t minimize the event, but try to avoid over exposure to media reports.
- Remind kids that they have trustworthy and supportive adults in their lives who are still working to keep them safe. Accepting their feelings and communicating with them will demonstrate that you are there.
- Restore hope in the future. Regain faith in the future by planning a small activity that will take place in the future so they have something with which to look forward.
Remember, coping with stress will make you, the young people you care about, and your community stronger.
Here is some additional guidance from the Centers for Disease Control to help you and your family manage stress & anxiety.