COVID-19 has made life stressful for everyone, including children! These unprecedented times have affected us all differently, and the same goes for our kids. They often mirror how their parents react to certain events and have certainly experienced stress during the pandemic.
As we move towards a return to normalcy, it’s still important to check in on your children. Here are some helpful ways to talk to your children about stressful situations.
1: Reassure children that they are safe
Fear has been a dominant emotion during the pandemic and it’s ok for your children to be worried. The best thing a parent can do is to reassure their child that there are safe and that it’s ok to be upset. Let them know they have nothing to worry about and that you may be feeling or have felt the same emotions during the pandemic. As things improve, let them know there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel.
2: Be a source of comfort
Simply talking about stress and how you feel can be incredibly comforting. Let your children know that you are always available to talk, or simply listen. Children and parents alike are dealing with many complex emotions during this time and talking about them can help cope with stress. Make yourself a resource if your children have any questions about COVID, the pandemic, safe behaviors, or anything else.
3: Identify sources of stress
One thing that has become all too common during the pandemic is “doom-scrolling.” This is when you constantly surf through and read about bad or disheartening news. While it may not cause immediate harm, the aftereffects of doom-scrolling can be increased stress and anxiety. Parents should be mindful of how much time their kids spend on social media, as a constant barrage of bad news could be making them more stressed. If it’s something you find yourself doing often, take some time during the day to get away from screens with your kids.
If you’re not sure what to do or have concerns, schedule an appointment with our new flexible hours. Woodburn Pediatric offers mental health counseling and support services for a variety of situations.