In times of uncertainty, here are 4 things you can do to build and maintain your child’s emotional wellbeing.
1 Communicate that you’re in control
Children need a sense of security and that comes as we assure them that we are in control.
Children are highly sensitive to the emotions of others around them and to whether there is a big person in charge.
You need to give your child a sense of “we’ve got this” – that you are there to help them navigate whatever does occur.
You can do this by making sure that anytime you talk about these events, do so in a calm and matter-of-fact way.
If you as a parent have worries and concerns, reach out to your trusted adult friends and not to your child.
2 Listen to your child
Check in with them about how they’re feeling during this lockdown period. What are they enjoying about this time? What are they finding hard about this time?
If a concern gets suppressed or stuck, it can easily become anxiety. To ensure this doesn’t happen, help your child give voice to what they’re feeling.
Listen to their concerns in a calm and caring way. Use:
- Empathy – listen to your child’s concerns and validate and affirm their feelings
- Perspective – reassure them where you can, and help them find a better way of seeing things.
- Action – find something constructive for them to do that will help them with their feelings
3 Limit media coverage
Keep informed but don’t let COVID-19 media updates take over your home.
Children require an adult’s help to interpret these types of visually stimulating and often emotive media updates.
4 Create consistency and structure
Routines help to communicate security to your child as they know what to expect each day.
Focus on these to start with:
- Regular wake up times
- Regular bed times
- Regular meal times
- Regular connection times – family fun, games
- Daily age-appropriate responsibility/chore
- A “tick sheet” of different activities they can do, (or need to do), each day – eg. play outside for 30mins
I hope you find these tips helpful. If you need extra support for your own wellbeing or for your child, please contact us. Our team are able to provide coaching and counselling during this time of uncertainty.