With news and media coverage spreading scary information, your child needs you now more than ever. Children across the world are afraid, so to help ease their anxiety, here are some things you can do to strengthen the mental health of you and your child.
STAY OFF THE INTERNET
This is by far the most effective way to reduce anxiety. Constantly watching updates on the status of COVID-19 can cause more anxiety. By staying off the internet, you and your child will not have access to view all the articles, tweets, Instagram posts or YouTube videos that are spewing endless corona-related news. If you don’t like the idea of kicking your child off the internet entirely, try to monitor what your child views, or reduce the amount of overall time spent on the internet.
The last thing you want to do is make them feel their emotions are pointless. Don’t ignore their concerns, but instead try to explain to them that at this moment very few people in the United Statesare sick with COVID-19 (or provide accurate information about the spread in your own country). Make sure your child understands that a lot of the stories on the internet may be based on rumors and other inaccurate information. Make sure they know where to find the right information, like how it spreads and how to prevent it—the CDC and other government-run websites (sites that end in .gov) are good sources for the most up-to-date and reliable information. Emphasize that adults are here to protect them, and make sure that you also know how to protect yourself.
TEACH THEM TIPS TO PREVENT
Giving your child some guidance on the things they can do to prevent the infection will make them feel in control of the disease spreading and give them more confidence. Make sure to teach them the basics, like avoiding touching their face unless their hands are clean, how to properly wash their hands, sneeze or cough covering their mouths with a tissue and throwing it out right away, and to not share food or drinks.
KEEP THEM BUSY
Since most schools are currently closed, your kids will be spending a lot of time at home.
You’re going to want to try and keep them active and off the internet. So, what can you do?
Make a schedule listing activity and to do’s; this way they will know they have something else to do.
Play board games
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Have a dance party
Have movie nights
And many other things! Keep them active and make sure they know that they are as safe as they can be.