The virus has its loneliness and anxiety/fear. We adults are being affected and we are adults. Our children of all ages are being majorly affected. They are asking the adults in their lives how to handle this; what happened when it happened before; what do we do to get through this….and the questions go on. Many are terrified. The most difficult answer we have to give is, we do not know, we have never been here before.
We need to help them, here is how:
Talk to them, but do not awfulize. Give them the facts that are appropriate for their age. They should not have all the details unless they are older teens.
- Be honest that we don’t have the answers yet, but are working to get answers, and will get them.
- Talk to them about how they feel without judgment. This includes anxiety/fear, being terrified, sadness, etc.
- Teach them about their feelings, if you don’t know about them, learn about them. See my previous post. It is important we learn from our feelings by feeling them appropriately.
- Many are having nightmares. Ask them to tell you about their dreams, have them create a story and draw a picture about it. The most important thing is to listen, honor and respect their feelings.
- Have fun times. Use this time to get to know your children and how they handle anxiety. Be there for them.
- Teach them about their feelings
- Talk about the unknown, and maybe make plans for what they would like to do after this is all over.
- Tell the good things that are happening with the virus, i.e., people recovering
- We can’t meet with friend or family, but what could we do…Skype? Zoom? Write a letter?
- Teach them about God and your religion. Give them something to turn too when there is no other place to turn.