Supporting children’s mental health during a pandemic
Children are not immune to the effects of uncertainty, with research showing they can recognise and respond to it from as young as 20 months old.
Here are some tips from Emerging Minds on how parents can help support children during the pandemic:
- Create time and space on a regular basis for children to ask questions, but don’t force them to talk if they don’t want to.
- Maintain routines as you find a ‘new’ family rhythm – with sport and other activities being cancelled, maintain as many other routines and rituals as possible.
- Celebrate newfound free time by creating new family experiences, such as daily walks, eating dinner together, or extra stories at bedtime – things you may not normally have fitted into busier daily routines.
- Be conscious of how you talk about COVID-19 – don’t be flippant or catastrophise.
- Communicate hope by talking about the actions that are being taken to prepare, to stay safe and to recover and how they can help.
- Limit your child’s exposure to media coverage about COVID-19 which they may not understand – sit with them to explain what’s happening and how it affects you.
- Provide comfort, reassurance and support if they’re upset or feeling scared.
- Give young children time to play – it’s time they use to work through their feelings.
- Find ways to keep children connected with loved ones that might be unable to be close to them due to self-isolation, work or illness. Video calls are a great way to do this.
- Before you start a conversation with your child, check in with yourself. Are you ready to talk about this? Are you prepared for questions that might come? Do you have enough accurate information? And importantly, do you have your own worries, concerns or anxiety about these events?
For more information and all enquiries please visit the Emerging Minds website
At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.
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