As we learn more about the COVID19 we are identifying that children are potentially carriers of the virus however are rarely exhibiting symptoms. Keeping our kids isolated is clearly what the health authorities are recommending to limit the spread. But,with these unique social distancing rules we may have children that are struggling within themselves. Government announcements and complex talk about a virus, all sounds a bit like a scary movie to our kids. So I’d like to share some tips on how best to approach things with your little ones, to keep everyone mentally healthy and happy.
An easy explanation to include children in the conversation is that the corona virus is like a cousin to the winter flu. When it visits it brings a fever, sore throat and a cough. And for most healthy individuals it won’t visit for very long. We need to limit how many houses the virus visits because although your family is completely safe, some people like those that are already sick or the elderly might not feel too well if they get sick with the virus. This is why we are washing hands often, staying home and not seeing many other people at the moment.
This situation is like nothing your child has ever experienced, so expect some behavioural issues and potential emotional outbursts. Children benefit greatly from having some routine and expectations about how the day will run, and hopefully this will minimise some of their anxiety. Keep a schedule in place as much as possible with mealtimes, bath time, bedtime and other activities lined up during the day to ensure there is somereassuring daily and weekly structure. A fun activity for the kids might be to write up a daily/weekly schedule for the family to follow.
Ensure that you consider outdoor time and exercise as part of the daily routine. Some simple activities outside might include:time on the trampoline, walking the dog, or perhaps get creative and set up an obstacle course. If the weather is against you, have a dance party inside or check out some of the awesome online offerings like Cosmic Yoga
or PE with Joe
Physical activity releases endorphins which lifts mood for both adults and children alike.
Understand that with social connection comes feelings of safety for children, and much of this has now been taken away from them by way of school and the usual school holiday activities. So spend some time playing with your kids. Connecting through play is a great way to keep everyone’s mind off things and it is very calming on the nervous system. Other options might be using technology to connect. Lots of us are using Zoom for meetings whilst working from home, but have you considered it for your children to catch up with their friends?
And finally,focus on the positives. Limit time spent watching the news, and discussing COVID19 around your children. Consider discussing all the good things that are going on in the world around us instead. Ask your child at the end of each day what has made them laugh? What have they liked about their day? What do they hope for tomorrow?
This time will pass, so why not consider this as bonus time to hang out with your wolf pack without any distractions.
In Health & Happiness,