Families are quickly adapting to changes based on current events and COVID-19. Families are learning how to manage school closures, changes to travel plans, and working from home. Some families have caregivers on the front lines as essential workers in necessary business operations or healthcare industries. These rapid changes can be stressful for adults to cope with. For youth, they react to what they see their parents and close family members are doing around them. In times of uncertainty, such as COVID-19, children look to adults for guidance and support. When it comes to talking to kids about COVID-19 and “safer at home,” there are several things you can do as a parent. During times of change, this provides parents with an opportunity to model how to respond and express their feelings. Here some tips to help your children during COVID-19.
Tip 1: Communication is key.
Having open communication with your children and family is important. Set aside time each day to talk about what is going on. Let your kids ask questions to guide the conversation. As a parent, it is important to listen to what your child says, validate his or her feelings, and reassure him or her.
Tip 2: Limit news and social media coverage of COVID-19
Information is readily available with 24-hour news coverage and social media. It is important to limit both our exposure as parents and also monitor what our children are exposed to. Sometimes, information that is shared on social media is inaccurate. As parents, it is important to get information from a reliable source. To help with limiting technology exposure, provide alternative activities for your children. For example, ride bikes, take a walk, color, and/or play with siblings.
Tip 3: Create a family routine.
Both children and adults thrive with structure and predictability (with some flexibility built in too). With families spending more time together in close proximity, it is helpful to have a daily schedule. You can schedule when schoolwork happens, work hours, mealtimes, free play, technology time, and outdoor time (to name a few) occur.
Tip 4: Make healthy life choices.
During times of change and uncertainty, it’s important to take care of yourself and your family. Having a consistent bedtime routine, exercising each day, and eating nutritious meals each day helps. Our family has enjoyed playing outside each afternoon and having family meals together.
Tampa Bay Moms hopes that you are able to stay healthy and safe during this time.