It can be difficult to know how to talk to your children about this “invisible” enemy, COVID-19. Children, even infants, take their cues from the adults that care for them. So, if you as a parent or grandparent are upset or dysregulated, it’s very likely that your child will also be dysregulated. Like the flight attendant instructs her passengers to “put the oxygen mask on yourself first, then on your child”, adults must first make sure they are in a good place before addressing the subject of the virus with their child. Many of the things that help adults stay calm and regulated will also be helpful to their children. Things such as:
- Keeping a regular routine: get up at the same time every day, go to bed at the same time, have meals at same time … etc. Routine brings us all comfort.
- Getting at least 30 minutes of sunshine or outdoors a day.
- Getting regular exercise. This is even more important now when families are spending so much time at home, indoors and outside of their regular routines. We hold stress in our bodies and moving our bodies is one way to get rid of stress. Holding on to stress makes us more vulnerable to illnesses so be sure to move your body each day.
- Keeping exposure to news and social media to a minimum. Much of what is being shared on social media isn’t trustworthy anyway. Determine a daily quota and news source for updating information. For example: watch your preferred news channel once a day for 20 minutes.
- Talking to friends or family daily. Keep connected through technology.
- A small amount of daily time meditating on God’s word brings big dividends. If you start your day in God’s word, it will come to your mind all through the day bringing the comfort you need at just the time you need it!
Practicing these techniques will help you manage your own stress so that you are better prepared to talk to your children and provide them with a sense of emotional security. In our next post, we will dive into specific tips for talking to your kids.
If you find yourself struggling and need some extra support, we can help. Please use the form on this page to contact us and we will be in touch ASAP.