After just one week of online school and staying at home, I know that parents are struggling to balance the demands of your career and become your child’s home school teacher. With all the sudden changes that have taken place, what happens when children ask, “What is this Corona Virus?” and “What happens if I get it?” Here are some ideas that can help your to navigate this subject.
When they bring it up, ask them to share how they are feeling about this situation. Ask them about their fears, anxieties, and what makes them mad or disappointed about events being cancelled. Validate their feelings. Let them know that you understand and that it is okay to feel what they are feeling.
Answer only the questions that they ask. There is no need to say how many people have the virus or have died from it. Share that no one likes to be sick, so we are staying home to make sure that we stay safe.
Limit the amount of news that they see and hear. It is important that parents stay informed, but it is a good idea to have another activity planned in another room of the house for when you plan on watching a news update. It is always a good idea to watch the news first yourself. Then if your child has a question later, you can answer it simply and in words that they will understand.
It is very important to model calmness for your child. Your child will take their cues from you. Be very careful of expressing fears that you might be having with them. It is very important for you to have a place to vent and share, but make sure that your child is out of the room doing another activity before discussing these events. If they see you staying calm in front of them, they will be much more likely to stay calm themselves.
Plan some special events that can take place in the house. You could have a picnic in the living room, play a game of Hide and Go Seek throughout the house, have a cooking lesson, sewing lesson, fixing things around the house, or doing an art project. This will also limit the screen time for children.
More than anything else right now, it is important to spend time each day connecting with your child. Carve out time each day to talk to them about anything and everything that they want to share. Make this a time to get closer to your child.
We have all heard it said that we are in uncharted territory right now. By modeling a sense of calmness and connected, you will help your child to weather this storm and possibly become stronger for having gone through it.
If you or your child is struggling with this change, feel free to call us or set up a time to talk. We can help you determine if you child needs extra help and how we can offer you support.
Click here to schedule a time to talk with Ginny
Written By: Ginny Vose
Certified Teacher and Counseling Intern with JCAC