What a roller coaster week it has been! On Monday, I was still daydreaming my weekend ski trip to Vermont. On Tuesday, I started to realize this trip might not happen at all due to work-related meetings and updates. On Wednesday, it became apparent that we needed to cancel the trip and we did. On Thursday, I found out that many sporting events are cancelled, school is closed for two additional weeks after March Break, Sophie Gregoire (wife of Prime Minister Justine Trudeau) was tested positive for COVID-19 and Disney is closed. By Friday, the official communication is that we should not travel outside of Canada due to the widespread of COVID-19.
I am happy our government and healthcare system are taking all the necessary steps as different events unfold. But these cancellations and last minutes changes are going to not only affect us but our kids’ mental health.
It is important to check on with them to see what they have heard, how they are interpreting the information and how their feelings are towards these events.
I know my daughters hear a lot about “COVID-19”, “coronavirus” and coupled with school cancellation, they may have different interpretation of what is going on, depending on how much they understand and how much they can deal with the ever changing information.
It can be unsettling but I think it is also the perfect opportunity to help them manage these anxious thoughts, deal with uncertainties and to reassure them we are doing everything we can to deal with this unprecedented time. Ask them to express their feelings, teach them deep breathing, encourage them to come to you to share their frustrations and offer different ways to cope with them.
As we will be spending more time with our kids over the next few weeks in isolation, it may be the best time to help them learn some skills to manage their emotions. Here’s an article that I find helpful about what parent can do to help with an anxious child.
This post was originally published here at DrugOpinions.