Tips On How to Help Kids Feel Safe and Manage Stress
COVID-19 is causing stress around the world and our kids are affected by it as much as anyone, particularly in the wake of school closures. Below are some tips to think about in helping your child feel safe in the world today.
Maintain structure and routine.
Kids feel safe when their environment is structured and they know what is happening next. This is most important when they are feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Maintaining mealtimes and bedtimes and keeping rules and limits consistent is important in helping kids feel safe.
Minimize and monitor their access to media.
Young children are less able to recognize what’s real and what’s acting or repeated news footage of an event happening in the world. Minimizing our children’s access to the news will help them feel safer and more secure and decrease overwhelm and excessive worry.
Avoid offering false promises, and remind them of all the people looking out for them and protecting them.
Keeping in mind your child’s age and developmental stage, try to be as open and honest as you can about the Corona Virus. And rather than offering false reassurances, try to highlight ways they are safe. Remind them of good hygiene practices and engage in those activities together. .
Teach and model self-care:
One of the very best things we can do for our kids is prioritize ourselves and take care of ourselves! Since parents’ brains are literally hard-wired to meet our children’s needs before our own, it’s crucial to take a step back and remember that we need to prioritize ourselves sometimes as well.
Identify and model using tools to manage stress:
When you exercise or listen to music, you may well be using stress management techniques without even realizing it! Note ways you and your family deal with stress—both the healthy and not-so-healthy. Point this out to your kids. Our kids can benefit from learning new tools to manage stress, and they will feel empowered when they recognize the skills they already have.
If you need support or guidance during this time, or are facing other challenges as a parent, the Center for Children and Youth is here for you. Contact us at www.parentsplaceonline.org or call 650-688-3046.