The news of the pandemic is everywhere. Schools have shut down and children are asked to stay at home! They don’t have a place to go and with the rising numbers, there is a deep fear instilled in us and we might or might not be indirectly giving it off to our kids. Our last post talked about the different ways to keep kids occupied in the house. We hope you have been making use of it but according to a recent study, it is noted that kids are becoming increasingly restless and anxious. This is with good reason but here are some good tips to follow through if your child is showing symptoms of pandemic anxiety.
5 SIMPLE WAYS TO DEAL WITH THE PANDEMIC ANXIETY IN KIDS
1) DO NOT AVOID HAVING ‘THE CONVERSATION’
By now kids are probably aware of the pandemic and they are watching the news with you with worry stricken faces. Our only advice is to not avoid having the conversation at all. Break it down to them in parts and explain to them about the pandemic. One good thing would be to ask them what they know and then accentuate it with necessary information. The important thing here is to not freak out or create a fear in them. Keep the tone neutral and discuss with them about the pandemic.
2) VALIDATE THEIR FEELINGS AND CONCERNS
It is normal to feel a bit anxious in this time. And kids are no exception to this. While most of them may be blissfully oblivious to the situation many of them might be feeling anxious and may be deeply concerned. Some kids have reported to ask when they might go to school again and if they will fall sick. Address their concerns and let them know that it is okay to have worries but as long as they can do everything as told, they shouldn’t worry. Which brings us to the next point.
3) EMPOWER THEM BY MODELLING BEHAVIOUR
Demonstrate to them the 20 sec hand washing technique and encourage them to follow that. Encourage them to help you clean the house or sanitize the groceries before bringing them inside. Giving those tasks will help them take their mind off the news and concentrate on the present. Thus keep them engaged and make them feel empowered and in charge of the situation.
4) BE AVAILABLE TO ANSWER THEIR QUESTIONS
Every question or query they might have is valid. So do not hesitate to answer them or brush them under the carpet. Encourage them to have their doubts cleared and be available for them when they come with questions. At first they might be acting out of their concern but slowly as they start to assimilate more information, they might have a lot of questions. Be there to clarify it for them!
5) PROVIDE REASSURANCE
Well, we could do all do with some of that but as parents, make it a point to tell your children that it’s going to be okay. Children worry incessantly due to a lot of different reasons and right now, all they want to know is to hear their parents say that it’s going to be fine. Whatever your belief system permits, make sure to mediate or pray with your kids. Yoga is also a very good exercise to help kids practice mindfulness.
We have listed some of the tips and hacks to handle your child’s anxiety and restlessness. Try some of the stuff we mentioned and let us know what you do to keep your kids engaged in the house as well.
We at MBGS are conscious of our kids mental health thus, we are sharing meaningful content across our social media platforms. You can make use of them to keep your kids engaged in your house!