Here are our five top strategies, based on the advice of international experts:
1. Adapt your daily routines and schedules. These need to be negotiated, but flexible. Our lives currently are unpredictable in terms of knowing what will happen, so daily routines help everyone to feel more emotionally secure and able to cope with unexpected changes. Everyone also needs to understand that work still has to be done!
2. Reassuring children and teens is essential as they can sense when adults are nervous or have anxiety about a situation. Be aware of your body language and maintain eye contact when talking to them. Breathe!
3. Ask them what they know about the virus, answer their questions and address any misunderstandings. Explain the health rules in an appropriate, non-threatening way. Watch your tone, and keep calm. The rules need to be consistent and visible, maybe with reward stickers for younger children. Be consistent and abide by the rules yourselves.
4. Be conscious of TV news media about the virus running in the background in your home and avoid your children being exposed to this and to conversations that reference anxiety and trauma.
5. Celebrate the opportunity to spend more time with your kids to devise games and creative ways to improve their learning skills. If this is the ‘new normal’, it’s important to focus on the positive ways that you can help your kids develop emotional resilience and support family well-being.
Here are some great ideas for fun activities: https://blog.cincinnatichildrens.org/simple-home-activity-ideas-for-kids-during-covid-19
Written by Mary, Academic Lead, White Orchid Insights