Coping with COVID
Coping with all the changes during COVID and lockdowns are not just challenging for us as adults, but also for our children. The rapid changes, home school, missing their friends, and not being able to engage in their normal activities. This can be very challenging and unsettling for our children.
The following tips and strategies are a summary of the information and links from the Royal Children's Hospital website, and for full information refer to the following link: https://www.rch.org.au/kidsinfo/fact_sheets/Supporting_your_child_to_cope_with_the_COVID-19_pandemic/
What can we do to support our children?
Talk about it
Avoiding the topic is likely to make children feel more worried and unsure.
Be open, honest and factual about it – keep your child’s age in mind when talking about it - Keep it simple and clear for young kids and provide more detailed information for older children and teenagers. Use books and resources that are available online – see below for free eBooks
Try to stay positive and hopeful
Even if we don’t feel this way, children model their parents' behaviour and will cope better if parents try to focus on the positives (even if there is not a lot), rather than the negatives.
Remind children that although things are different, there are a lot of changes, and things are harder, they will return to normal or become easier.
Focus on things that your child can control
Help your child focus on what they can do to help them stay safe and healthy. Give them practical suggestions to help them feel empowered, rather than helpless, for example teach them how to cough or sneeze into their elbow and encourage them to wash their hands. Encourage a healthy lifestyle by staying active, going for family walks, riding a bike or scooter.
Stick to routines
Routines give structure to the day and make the day more predictable. You can structure the routine around mealtimes, bedtimes, or home school learning tasks. Make sure you include time for play and physical activity. Continue to engage in your therapy sessions.
Look out for any signs of stress or anxiety that impacts on your child's engagement in their day.
Look out for any changes in behaviour, trouble sleeping or eating, being more distracted, having trouble focussing, or developing repetitive or obsessive behaviours. Check in with your child to see how they are coping and ask them what would help them. Try to include mindful activities into their day, yoga or calming movements to support them with self-regulation. Try to reduce unnecessary pressure on them and yourself. Talk to your therapist about any concerns.
For further information, please see below links: