As a parent, you want to do everything you can to protect your child. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has brought with it new challenges for families across the globe.
The ways parents can support their kids
Be calm and proactive
Parents should have a calm, proactive conversation with their children about the disease (COVID-19), and the important role children can play in keeping themselves healthy. Let them know that it is possible that you or your children might start to feel symptoms at some point, which are often very similar to the common cold or flu, and that they do not need to feel unduly frightened of this possibility. Parents should encourage their kids to let them know if they’re not feeling well, or if they are feeling worried about the virus so that the parents can be of help.
Monitor your own behavior
Parents, of course, are anxious too and our kids will take emotional cues from us. In our previous edition, we already discussed how parents can control their anxiety. If you miss our previous newsletter, you can find it here. On the other hand, it is also advisable that the parents should not overshare their fears with their children.
Keeping it positive
It‘s hard to feel positive when our kids or teenagers are driving us crazy. We often end up saying “Stop doing that!”. But children are much more likely to do what we ask if we give them positive instructions and lots of praise for what they do right. Your child may be scared or confused. Give them space to share how they are feeling and let them know you are there for them.
How teenagers can protect their mental health during coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Being a teenager is difficult no matter what, and the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is making it even harder. With school closures and cancelled events, many teens are missing out on some of the biggest moments of their young lives — as well as everyday moments like chatting with friends and participating in class. There are too many things, which children can do at home, play, exercise and learn. Most importantly, it’s an opportunity for parents and children to strengthen their bond. Here are few tips for helping your children at home.
1. Recognize that your anxiety is completely normal
Tell your children that if school closures and alarming headlines are making you feel anxious, you are not the only one. In fact, that’s how one should be supposed to feel. Ask them to remember: Dr. Lisa Damour said in an interview, “There are many effective things we can do to keep ourselves and others safe and to feel in better control of our circumstances: frequently wash our hands, don’t touch our faces and engage in social distancing.”
2. Create distractions
What psychologists know is that when we are under chronically difficult conditions, it’s very helpful to divide the problem into two categories: things I can do something about, and then things I can do nothing about.
Tell the children that there is a lot that falls under that second category right now, and that’s okay, but one thing that helps us to deal with that is creating distractions for ourselves. Doing homework, draw your favourite character, watching a favourite movie or getting in bed with a novel as ways to seek relief and find balance in the day-to-day.
3. Feel your feelings
Your kids were definitely missing out on events with their friends, hobbies, or sports matches is incredibly disappointing. These are large-scale losses. They’re really upsetting and rightly so to teenagers. The best way to deal with this disappointment? Let yourself feel it. “When it comes to having a painful feeling, the only way out is through. Go ahead and be sad, and if you can let yourself be sad, you’ll start to feel better faster.” said Dr Damour.
End on a good note
Check to see if your child is okay. Remind them that you care and that they can talk to you anytime. Then do something fun together!