How to be an example for your child or children in these situations
Without a doubt, the announcement that the March break of 2020 was to be extended left many kids filled with an abundance of excitement. As the “new normal” set in with closures of restaurants, theatres, stores, community centres, camps, ski hills, workplace, that initial burning exhilaration started to wane and be replaced by boredom, uncertainty and worries.
Children take their cues from the adults in their lives. If parents are anxious, their kids will sense that anxiety and consequently become anxious too. That is exactly why parents must remain calm and positive and assure their children that they are safe and that things will get back to normal. This is imperative whether you as a parent currently feel that way or not! When parents are calm, children mirror this calmness and their anxiety subsides. After all, parents are the leaders of their families, and just like we expect calmness and rational thinking from our governing leaders, we as parents must portray the same.
Some signs of anxiety in children and adolescents can be clinginess, withdrawal, whininess, irritability, sleep disruption (too little or too much), nightmares, bed wetting, hypervigilance, hyperactivity, lethargy, obsessive thinking about the stressful situation.
Here are 6 things to do to alleviate your child’s worries and anxieties about the COVID-19 situation:
Use the power of the mind for good: Do deep breathing and visualization of happy memories, imaginary peaceful scenes, or any positive images.
Get Moving: physical exercise is a great stress reliever and can energize your body and mind. Go for a walk as a family, ride your bike together, race in the park, kick the ball, chase the dog, and anything else that will get you moving.
Get giggling: Humour is an amazing way of diffusing stress and anxiety in uncertain times. Tell jokes, watch silly videos, make funny faces.
Get creative: draw, paint, dance, build.
Get Connected: Call your grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, tell them you love them and are thinking about them.
Get Grateful: list all the things that you are thankful for, be kind and compliment one another.
Stay positive! Stay safe! We will beat this and get back to our normal daily life again!