It's the height of summer and it's no surprise everyone is getting a bit stir crazy. Children and teens often react - in part - by what they observe from the adults in their lives. When parents and caregivers remain calm and confident when dealing with COVID-19, they can provide the best support for their children. And we can all be more reassuring to others around us, especially children, if we are better prepared.
Excessive crying or irritation in younger children. Returning to behaviors they have outgrown (for example, toileting accidents or bedwetting). Excessive worry
or sadness. Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits. Irritability and “acting out” behaviors in teens. Poor school performance or avoiding school. Difficulties with attention and concentration. Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past. Unexplained headaches or body pain. Use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.
WAYS TO SUPPORT YOUR CHILD
1. Talk with them about the COVID-19 outbreak.
2. Answer questions and share facts in a way your child can understand.
3. Reassure them that they are safe.
4. Let your child know it's ok if they're feeling upset. Share how you deal with stress so they can learn from how you cope.
5. Limit your families exposure to the news, including social media. Children may misinterpret what they hear or read and be frightened about something they don't understand.
6. Keep up with daily routines. While school is out of session, create a schedule for learning activities and fun / relaxing activities.
7. Be a role model. Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise and eat well.
8. Spend time with your child together in a meaningful way. Read stories, play board games, exercise, and solve puzzles.
9. Help your child stay socially connected.