How To Help Your Child Through the Mental Health Challenges of COVID 19
Coronavirus has been circulating in Surrey for awhile now and it will persist through the winter and well into next year. The longer it goes on, the more the list of disrupted or cancelled activities grows. This can be hard on children who rely on school as a source for socializing, friendship and routines. Cancelled holidays only add to anxiety and stress as everything they’ve known continues to change.
It’s normal to feel sad, anxious, afraid or angry. We’re all feeling those emotions to some degree. When these emotions become regularly disruptive or extreme it helps to talk to someone. More and more, Surrey child therapists are helping children develop positive coping mechanisms to deal with pandemic stress. The Government of Canada also has Covid-19 resources for parents and children.
Here are a few ways to support childrens’ mental health through the challenges of dealing with COVID-19:
Focus on things that are controllable--worrying about things you can’t change (like parents’ job loss, sick classmates) can heighten fear and worsen anxiety. Focus on actions that help navigate through the challenges, like establishing routines and learning safety measures that increase protection
Manage information--keep yourself updated with evolving health and safety measures so you can assure them of everything being done to keep them and those they care about safe. Limit their exposure to social media, newscasts and conversations about the scarier parts of the pandemic. Ask what they’ve heard from others so you can correct misinformation, clear up any confusion and assuage their fears.
Ask what they’re thinking and how they’re feeling. Listen, acknowledge and validate. Be honest.
Teach about COVID-19 hygiene so they can keep themselves, their families and others safe.
Reach out to Surrey child counselling services to help children maintain a healthy mental balance.