Let me ask you; are your kids asking you a bunch of questions about coronavirus that you cannot answer?
There are so many unknowns. So much wrong with the world, their world has turned upside down and no answers to be found anywhere.
Sounds about right. Mine have questions about how much longer they have to live in quarantine and how much longer they have to worry about the coronavirus?
The most important thing that I have found at this time that has worked with my kids has been honesty. I can’t give them an explanation for everything that is happening, but I can give them some answers. The answers I don’t have I honestly tell them. The approach of being open and communicating what is going on even if that means not having all the answers is way more beneficial to children of all ages in this uncertain time. Im sure most experts would agree with that.
Another thing that is essential is making them feel safe. So, I forget the sequence of what’s more important. Being honest or making them feel safe, they are probably both equally important. Of course we can never promise them or guarantee them 100% safety even in the most normal circumstances. However, you define normal. What will be important is to make sure they understand that they are with people who love them and are there with them to protect them to the best of their abilities.
Another issue that is important to keep in mind while going through this with your family is over exposure. The stories and news about people affected by the lockdown, Covid-19 or other problems related to it are everywhere. We have nothing else to do but flip through the news and the constant flow of information being provided to us. While we are exposed we unknowingly expose our children to it too. Whether its watching TV in front of them thinking its just the news so its harmless. Or talking about it without censoring ourselves assuming the little ones aren’t paying attention-they are always paying attention.
How do we counter these problems? How do we distract them and ourselves? They are not the only ones over loaded with all of these questions and thoughts.
Focus on the positive. Look for the people who are helping, those who are doing what is needed. The biggest dilemma of this pandemic is that we are feeling helpless. That feeling of helplessness and being locked away is hitting everyone the same. We need to find ways to get everyone involved.
Getting involved means different for everyone. For your family it may be a prayer circle every day, donating money, or calling some sick friends. You could also try some off beat techniques. The internet is full of them. Try other ways that will ease your anxiety. The more you are at peace the more your child will be at peace as well. Your child’s mental health is tied to you. Your offspring is forever connected to you. They will always feel your burdens. Ease your mental burdens and make them a part of that process. This will make them feel connected to you and make them feel like a part of something bigger. They will feel as though they are helping.