Helping Your Children Navigate the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted practically every aspect of our society, resulting in increased mental health concerns across the board. Unfortunately, the pandemic has taken a toll on children, impacting many parts of their lives, from socialization to altered home and family dynamics. Being proactive about helping your children navigate the pandemic in a healthy way is instrumental to their physical and mental well-being. Here are some ways in which you can help your children get through the pandemic while addressing their struggles or concerns:
Establish and maintain a routine.
With parents’ work schedules and children’s schooling being uprooted, it’s no surprise kids have struggled with uncertainty these past couple years. It’s more important than ever to establish and maintain a routine for your children, which will give them a sense of control and predictability when things seem turbulent on a larger scale. Enforcing healthy eating, scheduled bedtimes, and structured activities throughout the day will help your children feel balanced and achieve their goals both at home and school.
Monitor social media activity.
It should come as no surprise that many children have spent increasing amounts of time on social media, especially during the pandemic. While social media can have some benefits, it can also elevate feelings of fear, anxiety, or stress in children and teens. With social media being a major drive of COVID-related news, it can especially spike these feelings and cause children to feel anxious or apprehensive about the future. As a parent or guardian, consider limiting your child’s time on social media and help them decipher between rumors and facts.
Make time for discussion.
Even at times when your children seem OK, they may very well be struggling to adapt to changes going on in their lives. Whether it’s getting used to wearing masks or dealing with a sick family member, children have had to endure enormous changes due to the effects of the pandemic. Taking time to discuss with your children about what’s going on around them – and explain how you can be a source of support for them – will give them understand how they can receive help and guidance in overcoming challenging circumstances.
Acknowledging the impact of the pandemic on your children and taking steps to help them navigate this difficult time is critical. With the tips above, you can successfully give your children tools and information to overcome hardships they may be experiencing.
Have you noticed your children struggling during the pandemic? To receive help by a certified therapist, contact Joseph Montaldi, LCSW, based in San Antonio, Texas, at (210) 722-4714.