COVID-19 has been stressful for everyone. We have found that many parents are asking how they can help their kids during the pandemic. For many children, this has been an especially confusing time. Perhaps your own child has been feeling overwhelmed lately. Maybe they have had to attend school online, and they miss seeing friends and teachers. Possibly they hear the news about the virus and worry about their own health and the health of their loved ones. Or maybe they are even feeling anxious, irritable, depressed, or acting out more than usual.
It can be very difficult for children to process everything going on in the world right now, and they’re going to turn to their parents for support. If your children have been stressed because of the pandemic, these tips can help you navigate the situation.
Stick With Routines to Decrease Stress
Chances are, your child has had their routines disrupted in some way. Whether they’re staying home to complete their schoolwork on time or they can no longer hang out with their friends on the weekends, their lives have been disrupted.
That’s why it’s essential to establish new routines. Maybe you go for a walk together around the same time each day. Or perhaps you could have a specific time for a phone call or video chat session with your loved ones after their schoolwork is done.
Find Fun Indoor Activities for Healthy Outlets
Your kids have probably had to let go of some of their favorite hobbies. This can be a major source of disappointment. And naturally, it can lead to boredom. If your kids have been feeling very cranky lately, it could be because they’re simply feeling bored!
It’s time to start some new hobbies that you can do indoors. Puzzles and board games are great options. They’re also a good excuse to put away the screens for a couple of hours! You could set up indoor obstacle courses so that they can get some exercise, set up a jumping jack challenge, or have your own little dance party.
Answer Their Questions about the Pandemic Honestly
Have your children been asking you lots of questions about the pandemic? You might be wondering how to answer them. Or you might be tempted to brush these questions aside because you know that it could lead to disappointment and difficult conversations.
However, it’s best to answer these questions as honestly as you can. They may not be ready to learn about certain topics yet. But do your best to explain your answers while keeping things age-appropriate.
Spend Time Outside
While socializing with people indoors is not the safest option right now, you and your children can still enjoy the great outdoors! Even if it is chilly where you live, you can bundle up and go for a stroll outside. If the weather is warm enough, you might be able to go to a nearby playground, or even go to the beach.
And if you have a backyard, this could be the perfect time to set up some fun toys and equipment so that you can have fun outside without going far from home.
Stay in Touch With Loved Ones
Just because you and your kids can’t see your loved ones in person doesn’t mean that you can’t keep in touch! Your kids might be feeling lonely at home. Why not set up weekly video chats with their friends and relatives? You could also drive by your loved ones’ homes to say hello and wave. We’ve had social distancing lunch with friends or family at fast food restaurants. We simply planned a time to meet, ordered our food in the drive through, and then talked through our car windows as we ate. I know it’s not the same as sitting at a table together, but it definitely felt good to connect in person.
For kids, spending so much time away from their friends and family can be challenging. But you can stay connected, even when you can’t physically be together.
Are you feeling worried about your child’s mental health in light of the pandemic? Do you feel like your own mental health is suffering? Therapy can help. Reach out to us today to discuss your options for scheduling your first session.
Follow these 3 easy steps to get support during this unprecedented time: