Often, kids are given so much credit for being resilient, and it should be given to them because they are. They can experience things and bounce back in an instant, and it’s because of this that we don’t consider the reality that children can, unfortunately, experience stress too.
This entire year of 2020 has been filled with things we’ve never even experienced as adults. Can you imagine what kids and teens must be thinking and feeling? They all had to finish the school year via Zoom. High school and college graduates were robbed of their opportunity to receive their diplomas/degrees in front of friends and family. Life has been shaken up for them, and many parents are left wondering, “What can I do to ease my child’s stress and anxiety during times like these?”
First, let’s discuss some of the indicators that your son or daughter may be experiencing some form of stress. They may become withdrawn or more clingy, angry, agitated, and they may even result in bedwetting depending on their age. If you notice any of these symptoms in your child, here are some tips that may help them.
- Don’t dismiss their questions and concerns – It’s normal to want to shelter your kid during times like these, but in the age of social media, that’s probably not the best thing to do. You’d much rather they get their information from you than from some random person on the Internet.
- Avoid separation as much as possible – Keep your children close as much as possible but in any event that you have to separate, make sure they have an open line of communication to you (i.e., phone, video calls, etc.).
- Try to keep a sense of normalcy about their routine – Or at least do this as much as you possibly can. If they’re not back to school outside of the home when the new school year begins, make a schedule that keeps them working during school hours, just as they would while physically attending class outside of the home.
- Give truthful information – As far as the Coronavirus is concerned, give them as much accurate information as you find and make sure they know all the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the disease. Try to find language and vocabulary that cater to their age. For example, the way you describe the virus to a 5-year-old will be utterly different from how you describe it to a 15-year-old.
If you have young kids or teens at home, I pray that this helps put their mind at ease…yours too!