There is an overall atmosphere of anxiety and fear due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. Recent events have been hard on everyone. To ensure your children don’t succumb to the detrimental mental health effects of social distancing measures, you must be proactive and protect them in any situation you can. Due to social distancing and lockdowns, transitions for children mean they cannot live a normal, fulfilled life as they once did. Their regular activities have come to a halt. They can’t meet their friends in person anymore. Schools are closed, parks and play areas are shut, sports teams and clubs are no longer running, etc. These changes will not prove easy for children to adjust to.
As a working parent, you may also have a lot on your plate at the moment. You are dealing with the uncertainty associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, too. It’s stressful across the board. Still, you have to be a pillar of strength for your children. That’s a lot of pressure, even without a global pandemic to throw into the mix. Here are a few things to keep in mind when addressing your children’s possible mental health issues.
Gary Saitowitz on helping children through stress
Managing a child’s anxiety
Like adults, even kids need reassurance that the current situation involves only temporary measures. It is incredibly important to spend time with your children and fulfill their socialization needs, even while being occupied with your own personal and professional life. Pay attention to what bothers them most, and tend to their needs with patience and love. They need your attention and empathy. Your child may be anxious, and this is not at all unusual. What matters is how you respond to them. You have to find the source of their anxiety and work from there. Offer them guidance. Make them feel safe. Explain to them, in terms they will understand, why these new health guidelines are important to public and personal health. There may be moments when you feel irritated; still, you must understand that they are young and that it is a lot to adjust to at their age.
Get your children involved in various activities
According to leading entrepreneur Gary Saitowitz, parents must keep their children engaged in different activities so they don’t have so much time to ponder about what has changed. For this, you can create a daily routine that includes time for schoolwork, recreation, homework, playtime, screen time, and more. Since it can be stressful for them to be away from friends, have them connect with their friends and loved ones through video calls. Create opportunities for them to feel truly fulfilled. The best way to ensure your kids don’t miss their past is by planning crafts, reading, and games for their spare time; bring their past to the present by pursuing old activities at home.
You have to make sure your child is physically active. Indoor games can be a great solution for this. An active mind can prevent unnecessary thoughts from running amuck, allowing your children to truly live in the moment.