How can you support your child if they are worried about the Coronavirus?
Whether or not your child is currently attending school, they will have heard about Coronavirus either through conversations with others, via the television or online, and this flood of information can make them feel scared.
With this in mind, it is important to:
Give them enough information to protect themselves, but not too much so that it causes unnecessary worry or panic.
The best way to do this is to limit exposure to the news, as this can often cause confusion or misinterpretation of facts. This includes minimising discussions at home, unless children ask you directly.
When talking to children, start by asking about their concerns and follow with facts.
Validate their feelings of worry as this will help them emotionally in the future when faced with new or unusual situations.
Be aware that anxiety may show in non-verbal demonstrations, e.g. being tearful or overly clingy.
How can children be supported when self-isolating?
If your family is self-isolating, this should be recognised as a medical precautionary measure and not merely an extended holiday from school. Ensure that your children understand the reasons for and criteria of self-isolation.
For many children, routine is fundamental to emotional regulation. If your child is not currently in school, try to keep to a set routine of getting up and dressed, specific learning and activity periods, mealtimes and bedtimes.
Whilst this unprecedented situation continues, our own anxieties for ourselves and our families and friends are likely to be heightened. However, aim to model calmness. Manage your own anxieties so that you can support children with theirs.
The following link contains a Social Story, designed to help children understand the Coronavirus. https://www.elsa-support.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Story-about-Coronavirus.pdf
Our Bloom team will be posting ideas to help with mental wellbeing across the next few days – even if you are self-isolating.