It may seem too scary to tell your children what’s going on in the world right now much less our own backyards, but the truth is your best ally. Ask your children what they are hearing and if they have any questions. Children usually pick up on more than you expect, and they almost always discern your moods.
- Address their questions, but take time to hear underneath for heightened negative emotions they may need help managing.
- Share some of your concerns while comforting them with age-appropriate facts. The pandemic will ebb, and much of what we are doing is to stop it from getting worse.
- Many children will feel antsy at being cooped up at home and may express anger that you’re being unfair. You may feel this way yourself and get impatient with them! Validate and normalize that this doesn’t feel great to you either. You don’t have to convince yourself or them to be happy about this!
- Remember to monitor your children’s internet activity as they will be spending more time online. Not only will they have access to all kinds of information, but also predators are stuck at home, too.
- Schedule family meal times and family activities such as board games or charades. Have movie night or Meatless Mondays where each person gets to pick the menu. Get everyone involved as much as possible in these and other shared activities.
- Give children unstructured playtime. Teach them to stop working and relax. Everyone needs alone time.
- Increase video or phone calls to grandparents, esp. if visits are limited. The elderly may feel increased isolation and panic, and seeing you and your children can be soothing.