Navigating through these novel and stressful times is difficult as an adult, but how do you also help your child? Children see and hear what is going on in the world around them with a different level of understanding as adults and much less control. It is important for parents or anyone who cares for children to be able to provide a sense of safety and certainty even during uncertain times. Even the consistency of routine, knowing how their hours will be spent each day, is a comfort to kids. There are so many things changing that simply providing a consistent schedule can have a positive impact on the level of stress and anxiety that children are feeling.
It is also important to have an open dialogue about the issues your child is concerned about. They see the adults around them feeling anxiety, but they do not always know or understand why. It is important to directly address this with your child in an age appropriate manner and in a way they will understand. Not knowing what is going on produces its own level of anxiety. Sit down with your child, ask them how they are feeling, let them tell you what is going on inside their minds. It is ok to let them know that you have concerns as well, but reassure them that they will be ok, you will always take care of them and you love them. Remaining calm and understanding and having an open dialogue with your child will go a long way in reducing their anxiety as well as preventing stress and anxiety from building up in the future.