Feelings of discomfort in the lives of children today may be due to the stressful changes that have occurred since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a parent you may be wondering how to help your children deal with anxiety during lockdown.
The weight of the COVID-19 pandemic has been stress-inducing for many families. The confirmation of a Third Wave, and more school closures, may have increased the feelings of worry and fear once again.
There are several strategies that parents can use to help children manage their stress levels and anxiety about COVID-19 and the Third Wave.
Here are some strategies to help children deal with anxiety at home:
If your child is struggling to get back into going to school mode, understand that your child is coping with the challenges of the prolonged pandemic differently from you. Develop an environment that is caring, encouraging and responds openly to children’s questions and how they feel.
Provide structure and safety
Create a routine that gives children a sense of structure and safety as this helps them to develop a new sense of normality. Assist your child to follow their schedules and make learning playful by adding it to daily activities such as making a meal together or reading together. Another alternative is to join a parent support group to talk to other parents who are also experiencing similar issues to share ideas and strategies to get support.
Talk to your children
Always check on how your child is feeling and listen intently as it shows you acknowledge and validate how they feel. A parent can help their child manage their feelings of anxiety by sharing ways to cope when they feel anxious. Make them aware that it is normal for them to feel sad and stressed and that they can come to you for support. By providing reassurance, it helps a child to feel understood and cared for.