The pandemic and the instability that it has caused has resulted in many negative feelings, including stress and anxiety. And just because adults are more aware of what is going on, that doesn’t mean that children are immune to the negative feelings the pandemic and subsequent restrictions have brought. This is why I wanted to put together 3 ways to help our kids deal with stress from COVID-19.
I personally have noticed that my kids have been acting differently since all of this and seem to be stressed but showing it in different ways. I have also watched them experience a lot of disappointment when they are told that they are no longer allowed to do some of the things they love. It is so disheartening to see but I know that this will end up being only a moment in time. Here are a few tips on how to get them through those days when it all becomes a bit too much, and get them back to their bright, happy and energetic selves.
Focus on the Positive
Even through these uncertain times, there are always reasons to look on the bright side. With more and more of us staying indoors at home, celebrate having more time to spend with each other as a family. We have been doing all the things that we never previously had time for.
- Start a family project
- Play games
- Re-do their bedrooms
- Cook and bake together
- Spend time outdoors
- Exercise together
Positivity spreads, and by making an effort to be as positive as possible, this will radiate through to your children, helping them have a brighter mindset and more positive outlook over the next few months.
Be a Good Role Model
Whether consciously or not, children look to us parents and watch our behaviors. We are their first teachers! Children often pick up or mirror the habits that they see in adults, so one of the best things we can do is be a good role for them when we are feeling stressed ourselves. Display and share healthy coping strategies such as exercising, reading a book, or indulge in a hobby such as painting or crafting. This can show that while there will always be stresses in life, they can be made better and it is all about how you manage them. The earlier that they start to develop healthy coping mechanisms, the better, and the more likely they’ll be able to cope successfully with whatever life throws their way.
Teach Some Calming Strategies
We may be spending more time at home but we cannot always be with our children when they feel stressed. I have found that my kids are so used to being around me, that when I leave they become anxious. This is why it is important for me to give them the tools to cope and calm down on their own. Here are some simple, yet effective techniques:
- Deep breathing from the diaphragm.
- Focusing on a number and counting backward
- Imagining their favorite place and encourage them to use their senses to stay in this place until they feel calm.
If you feel like you need more help, don’t hesitate to reach out to organizations such as Youth Villages. They specialize in helping children and their families deal with their emotions and live successfully.
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