COVID-19 pandemic has spread across the world. This virus has resulted in uncertain times as many people are going into isolation. Schools and many offices are closing; events are cancelled, religious places are closing, countries closing borders to foreigners, and other changes that are happening so fast.
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This condition does not only affect adults but children too. As adults are more susceptible to information about what is going on right now, children might find it frustrating and prompting stress because of upending school and daily routine.
Here’s how you can help your child manage their anxiety during COVID-19.
1. Remain calm and make time to talk
Children tend to copy the behaviour of their parents and their surrounding. Be aware of your anxiety level first and think about how your behaviour and reactions to everything may influence your child. If you are worried continuously and checking the news for an update, they will sense your anxiety and may react with anxiety.
Make sure to remain calm despite this whole COVID-19 situation and make time to talk to them whenever they have questions.
2. Provide an age-appropriate response to their questions about COVID-19
Even the adults are still processing how can this virus be a threat to the whole world, let alone for children.
Every time your kids ask about COVID-19, and why they have to stay home, you should always provide an age-appropriate response to help them understand the situation as well as reassuring them that everything is going to be okay.
For example, for younger children, you can try to tell them that this virus will give you a cold, so we have to be careful by staying home, washing our hands, and be healthy.
As for the older children you can tell them that unlike common cold that has a vaccine for it, this virus is new, spreads in the whole world and for now, the scientists around the world are currently trying to find its vaccine. So, it is very crucial to stay home to avoid the spread of the virus and let the health professional taking care of the people who are sick.
3. Keep to the familiar routine
Structure and familiar schedules are very helping during stressful times. Keep doing your family’s usual routine as much as possible as one of reassuring action to keep your children anxiety at bay.
Keep them accompany during the online learning time, help them with the homework, and checking the people your child may worry about, such as grandparents, school friends, teachers, neighbours, etc. through phone or video call.
4. Manage their screen time
When everyone spends time at home, extra screen time surely won’t hurt, but you need to keep it on check. Stay home doesn’t mean unlimited screen time for the kids, especially to younger ones. You should try to balance the digital and non-digital activities to keep them active and entertained.
5. Understand their behaviour changes
Prepare yourself for the possibility of behaviour changes in your child or teens. When they are stressed, their behaviours may change, so don’t be surprised if they exhibit mood swings and a problem with concentration. It may be their way of expressing their concern.
As parents with increasing caretaking duties during this stay at home period, it is best to be more understanding of their behaviour and give extra patience and support to your children. Don’t forget to take care of yourself too!
If you or your children feel overwhelmed with the situation, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor or a licensed mental health professional for help. Head over to Okadoc App to book your appointment online. Together, we all can overcome this!
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