As the global spread of coronavirus continues to grow, parents everywhere are grappling with how to manage their children during this time of fear and uncertainty. School districts are closing, governments are implementing strict health restrictions, and parents are “stuck” at home with their kids, slowly adjusting to a new kind of normal. With so many unknowns and a surge of misinformation, parents may feel overwhelmed. We reached out to ParentGood expert, Carrington Cunnington, to share some simple tips on how parents can deal with this environment of uncertainty, while prioritizing their children’s physical and emotional well-being.
Talking to Your Child About Corona
- Your child will probably have many questions.
- Be honest. If your child has a question and you don’t have an answer, it’s OK to say, “I don’t know.”
- Avoid undermining your child’s trust in you with false information or promises.
- Consider your child’s age and personality. Does he or she get anxious easily? Is he or she generally calm? Your child’s unique profile will determine the answers you provide.
- Check to see what they do know about the virus. What information have they already been exposed to – from the news or their friends?
- Explain to your child the value of social distancing and other public health measures.
- Lead by example. More than anything, your child will learn from what they see you doing.
- Show your child how to wash their hands thoroughly, cough into their elbows, and avoid touching their face.
- The current situation leaves a lot of gray room for parents to make their own judgement calls. Use your own clear judgement.
Being Home with Your Child, Without Completely Losing It
- Forget about entertaining your child at all hours of the day. That’s not your job!
- Allow your child to be bored; boredom breeds creativity. You won’t believe the ideas your child comes up with when given the space.
- Encourage activities that keep your child’s mind and body engaged. Body movement can be anything from playing outdoors (if you have a yard) to dancing to jumping on mattresses placed on the floor (make sure a parent is supervising!).
- Chores can be fun! Involving your child in everyday chores is a great way to imbue them with confidence and a healthy sense of responsibility.
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