The world is facing a daunting pandemic – a virus that has transcended borders and had a huge impact on all our daily lives. As communities, governments and health authorities tackle the spread and effects of COVID-19, it has never been more important for us all to come together. None of us have ever experienced a health crisis on this scale before, however, for children, this kind of event can fuel sadness, stress, and potentially lead to depression and anxiety. It is critical in a time like this to ensure they feel protected and comforted.
So, what can we do?
Listen to our children and validate their feelings.
Everyone will respond to a crisis in their own way. Whatever children are feeling or experiencing in response to a crisis is normal and understandable. Let them know it is ok and that you will keep them safe.
Reassure your children.
Encourage them to speak freely and share with them age appropriate information about what is happening in the world. They are hearing about it and seeing it everywhere they go and need to make their own sense of it.
Give them ways to feel safe and be helpful in the community.
Talk to them about the importance of sanitation. Make handwashing FUN with a song at the basin:
“This is the way we wash our hands, wash our hands, wash our hands
This is the way we wash our hands, early in the morning” etc..
Teach them the importance of safe distancing while at the shops and coughing/sneezing into their elbow. Not only does this help keep them safe, it also helps them to feel like they are doing their part too.
Try to keep ‘Normal’ routines in place.
In times of uncertainty, children will benefit from keeping to their normal routine or schedule. As much as you can, keep rules around bedtime, meals, showers, playtime, and homework in place. Having a sense of purpose and routine can help both adults and children avoid feelings of stress and anxiety and making sure we feel productive, fulfilled, confident and in control.
During this time of change and uncertainty, it is important to remember to have some fun too.
Know that you don’t have to keep your children busy, or always learning or entertained. Boredom can be a fertile ground for creativity and discovery. There are plenty of ways to learn, and some of the best ones are the ones they discover themselves.
At Dinky Di Children’s Learning Centres we are open for fun and learning 5 days a week! We are excited to see more and more happy faces returning to our centres every day and look forward to opening our doors to many more!