Supporting Your Child During COVID-19
These uncertain times can be very stressful as we learn to live a different lifestyle by taking social distancing measures. However, it can be even more stressful for children who may not understand what is going on.
Below are some suggestions on speaking to your child about COVID-19 and to help them process the current changes in their lives:
Find out what your child already knows
How your child responds to the news will depend on their age, temperament and development level, so it’s best to start by finding out what your child knows about the virus and correcting any misunderstandings. Use reliable sources and learn as much as you can first so that you can answer their questions. Answer them honestly, and don’t share any more information other than what they asked. If you don’t have the answers, tell them the truth.
It’s natural for kids to worry, so be sure to let them know that they can always come to you when they are feeling upset or stressed. It’s important to let them know that these feelings are normal, and that they are not alone.
Focus on what you are doing to stay safe
Children feel empowered when they know what they can do to stay safe. Teach kids proper hand washing techniques, the importance of eating and sleeping well, and explain how social distancing works to help them feel like they have some control over the situation.
Stick to routine
The disruption to a child’s regular schedule can be very difficult to process, so try to stick to routine wherever possible. Maintain regular meal and bedtimes, and work with kids to help structure their day. There are many online learning resources available for free right now which can help you develop a homeschooling plan.
Keep the conversation going
Take time to check in with your children to ensure that they are getting all the support they need. Remind them that you are open to conversation and are always there to listen.
Seek further help
If your child continues to express fear and stress about the virus, and you feel unable to address these issues, The Therapy Centre has skilled Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychotherapists who effectively treat a variety of issues that may arise from the COVID-19 situation including fears, health anxiety, how to manage uncertainty and how to increase ones tolerance for the unknown.
At The Therapy Centre we are now offering Telehealth services including secure phone sessions and videoconferencing.
Our offices are located at 2525 Old Bronte Road in Oakville and 849 Upper Wentworth Street in Hamilton-just minutes from the QEW and easily accessible from Peel Region, Halton Region, Halton Hills, Stoney Creek and Niagara Region.