Community//

A FAMILY’S RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

You Are Not Alone!

Hold On.

I can understand how you might feel nervous or out of sorts because of what you are seeing on the news and media or because of how the changes seem to be effecting our communities and families or because we don’t know what’s going to happen next.

It’s a strange time to look to the places where we would most often distract ourselves or find comfort. And yet, major league sports are on hold, the movie theater is closed and there is this looming feeling. If you feel this, you certainly are not alone.

We, as people have been through many difficulties and always fare better when we come together.

In times of confusion and isolation some have turned to things that don’t bring health, healing or restoration. These things may include an increase in pornography, drugs and alcohol and suicide. When it comes to social distancing there is a stark difference between solitude and isolation. Michael Schreiner says this, “Isolation and solitude both imply being alone but that is where the similarities end. They are opposite states in every other important way.  Solitude is usually actively sought after and is a personal choice that comes from an inner yearning.  Isolation is usually actively avoided and is forced from the outside.” Amidst the call for social distancing let’s try something different – something we can do right now.

WHEN YOU FEEL OVERWHELMED OR FEARFUL:

-Take Deep Breaths: In: 2, 3, 4 Out: 2, 3, 4 and repeat

-Prayer and a time of Meditation

-Read a Book unrelated to the events in the media

-Get Outside in Nature and Walk

-Call a Close Friend and Share with Them: Do it today and don’t hold back

-Remember that You are not alone: Believe that and reassure others as they will need this same encouragement.

As you continue to read you will find a guide to speaking with children about the virus, scripts to speak with those struggling and helpful resources moving forward. While you take precautions set your mind on Hope.

Speaking to Children About Covid-19 (Corona Virus): A Parenting Resource

According to the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) here are tips to engage children and talk about the Corona Virus:

– Remain Calm and Reassuring: Children will be attune to your tone, body language and overall response to the latest news of the virus.  Be mindful of what new information you are sharing. Share hope that we are handling this as a family and community.

– Make Yourself Available: Offer not only the time for their questions, but also your affection and comfort to know that you care about how they feel about the situation.  Allow them to share without assuming you know how they feel.  

– Avoid Excessive Blaming: Out of personal fear, self-blame often leads to blaming others.  In fearful situations it’s best to remain calm and not blame others for the situation we are now facing.  Rather, listen and provide ways in which we can navigate these changes together.

Monitor Television and Social Media: Monitor the intake of news and media that harps on the global effects of the virus.  Take breaks to process the information, go for a walk outside and embrace the natural changes with the Spring weather – have you noticed that Spring is upon us?  As you are mindful, engage the conversations and lead into other activities that help take our minds off of the virus.  

– Maintain a Routine to the Extent Possible: Research shows that children thrive in environments of structure.  Amidst the many changes prioritize care and quality time that encourages them in completing their school work and engage in their community in a way that helps them function well during this time.  Our daughter has enjoyed incorporating aspects of school into our day depending on what related arts she would have that day. Today was music day! Consider starting your morning with prayer and readying your mind for the day as a family.

– Be Honest and Factual: There is a lot of information out there and not all of it is factual.  Children will hear stories, some of which are simply not accurate.  Create the time and space to learn what your child is hearing and respond with honest and factual information.  

Finally, take the time to review the symptoms and the ways in which to care for personal hygiene to take precautions from the virus.  Discuss using these precautions at home and in the community.  If your child is sick, do not send them out for play dates.  Continue the practice of taking the time to speak with and listen to your children and use age-appropriate conversation when engaging in discussion regarding the virus.  

For additional information see the entire article

What Do I Say to My Family or Those that are Struggling?

EMPATHIZE:

“I can understand how you might feel nervous or out of sorts because of what you are seeing or hearing on the news and media or because of how the changes seem to be effecting our communities and friends and family or because we don’t know what’s going to happen next.”

MAKE AN EMOTIONAL AND PRACTICAL CONNECTION

We, as people have been through many difficulties and always fare better when we come together. How can I help you right now?

WHEN YOU FEEL OVERWHELMED OR FEARFUL:

-Take Deep Breaths: In: 2, 3, 4 Out: 2, 3, 4 and repeat

-Prayer and a time of Meditation

-Read a Book unrelated to the events in the media

-Get Outside in Nature and Walk

-Call a Close Friend and Share with Them: Do it today and don’t hold back

-Remember that You are not alone: Believe that and reassure others as they will need this same encouragement.

GOD IS GOOD, HIS LOVE HAS NOT CHANGED AND HE IS COMPLETELY IN CONTROL.  

AS YOU TAKE PRECAUTIONS SET YOUR MIND ON HOPE.

Resources: Find Help Here:

The Crisis Text Line: The Crisis Text Line works by text and it’s free, 24 hours a day.  Since the responders work remotely it will not be affected by Covid.  Continue to share, and with the social distancing with the virus – if you find yourself in need consider the Crisis Text Line. You are not alone!

Information Directly from the CDC: This site provides information regarding how to prevent the spread of the virus, what symptoms look like and where to find help. There are also resources for schools and childcare, businesses and community. You are not alone!

Meals for Children and Families: Throughout many communities there are specific organizations, school districts and community members that are working together to provide free or affordable food for families in need during this time. You are not alone!

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