Coronavirus. Pandemic. Social Distancing. Canceled Events. Lost Moments. Crazy Runs on Basic Supplies. Fear. Anxiety. Stress. Anger. Isolation.
We have every right to be concerned about the state of our world.
But we also have an obligation to protect our kids’ hearts and minds.
How can we lead with confidence and love, when our own emotions are a whirlwind inside our frail frames?
We must remember, Momma & Daddy, that our children look to us. Even as teens and young adults, they look to us as the barometer to gauge how much pressure they should feel. Whether they are three or twenty-three, they need us to help them cope and relax. They need to know that we are okay, so they feel safe to be okay themselves.
So help your kids R-E-L-A-X! 🙂
- Rely on Routine. Children feel safe when they know what to expect. Incorporate lots of fun into your day, as well as projects you have been putting off. Let them draw you into their world, too!
- Explain and Educate. Speak the truth in love. Depending on age, give them a glimpse into what is truly going on. Explain the virus and how germs are spread. Stress and anxiety breed in the fear of the unknown.
- A virus makes you feel sick. The flu is a virus they may have heard of.
- Most people who get this virus turn out just fine, and some never feel sick at all.
- Sickness is spread by being near sick people, in ways like being coughed or sneezed on, or sometimes by touching something a sick person touched.
- People who are already “sick” (or “have compromised immune systems” if your kids are old enough to understand that) could get very sick from this virus, and may even die.
- To be kind to those who may get very sick, we are asked to stay home with our families so the virus doesn’t spread.
- We are excited to have this time together! What a gift!
- Love and Laughter. Remember how precious they are, and let that joy light up your face. Play together. Build forts. Write jokes. Put on concerts and plays. Read good books. And yes, even an occasional movie night! Create memories they will treasure. In the process, you will find yourself refueling, as well!
- Act as Advocate. Guard their ears and hearts! Heavily restrict social media or news shows in your home, and even conversations they may overhear. This information enters their ears unfiltered, from a source designed for a mature audience. They cannot fully understand what they hear, and this could greatly increase their fear and confusion. Young children process more slowly than adults. Give them time, and expect that they may come back many times to process more deeply.
- eXamine your own eXperience. Do some inner contemplation. How are you feeling? Are you taking care of you? You cannot pour from an empty vessel. If you need help in controlling your own fear or anxiety as you walk this road, seek help! There are many free resources that can help. Take this time to learn how to be the best YOU!
Resources for kids:
Nerdy Social Worker gives live social-emotional learning sessions on this Facebook page (seem best for middle schoolers)
Not COVID-19 specific, but this walks you through how kids process feelings
Hang in there, Moms and Dads! We can do this!
Love to you all,
View my Facebook Live regarding this article here!