In this difficult time, it is critically important to be strengthened by working together and to also adapt as needed to working through this crisis which demands various cautions, preventative actions, and accommodations, which seems to be occurring daily if not hourly.
This is a stressful time for children and families. Here are some tips and strategies to help you and your family through this time.
For you as a caregiver:
- Do your best to practice mindful self-care to support your own positive mental health Remember: You are the template for your child; they will follow your lead.
- Try as best as you can to maintain a “routine” (This is likely hard when kids are out of school, but it supports safe boundaries and a feeling of “we got this”).
- With school out and extra time without supervision supports, be mindful that children and teens need structure and boundaries to ensure safety. Talk (and problem solve) with them about this.
- Limit your exposure to ongoing same news coverage and social media.
- If you have some extra time and have not yet completed our online Prevent It! workshop, you can register here for FREE. Once you have completed it you will receive a certificate. Please share this free resource with your friends and network as well.
- Review this Guide to Media Use/Technology to remind you all of the need for supervision and “connection” over computer usage. A few words (and actions) of wisdom to share with your children about the internet are:
- Some things are better discussed face-to-face
- There are REAL people behind ‘avatar friends”
- NOTHING is ever really private or permanently deleted
- It’s easier to get a bad online reputation than a good one
- Avoid drama and engaging in comments that aren’t necessary or appropriate
- Try and lead your child/youth with “grounding”/calming exercises and/or quality connection time. If nothing else, this time together allows us to connect like never before. Be mindful of ”connection before correction” as this is a lovely reminder for mindful, connected parenting.
For your child/teen
- Reassure them that they are safe. Please check out www.brainpop.com where there is a “kid-version” COVID-19 Coronavirus video for you to watch together that is to the point and educational, but not “scary”. Click here for the direct link.
- Let your child/teen talk about their worries but do not over-focus on them.
- Practice coping skills together with your child. Share with them what YOU do/your coping strategies that works.
- Help them create a daily self-care routine (using music, gratitude journaling, art projects, nature walks outside, games, books, movies, collaging, cooking/baking, exercising, etc.)
Global News: Clinical director Dr. Wanda Polzin is concerned about how the pandemic will affect all vulnerable children. Global News asked her what she feels we need to know. Read the story here.
Dr. Peter Silverstone, who is the chair our our Scientific and Clinical Committee weighs in on how to support children’s mental health during the coronavirus pandemic. Read the article here.
Here is a resource from the World Health Organization: