The COVID-19 pandemic has touched every one of us. At this time, above all else, I hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. At SullivanLaw, we are keenly aware of how much this situation is impacting our clients and community. Your legal circumstances and your mental and physical health are important to us. If you are feeling anxious, you are not alone. Children are no exception and will require special consideration.
These are our tips for helping your children through the COVID-19 pandemic, and a list of free online resources for fun for the whole family.
Keep news and alarming information out of the earshot of young children. They can hear everything and the unprecedented nature of what we are experiencing is hard enough for adults to digest, much less children. Children can become very frightened from what they hear.
Remember that your children are social beings too. Their lives have also been uprooted with the shuttering of school, the closure of playgrounds and the cancellation of extracurricular events. Connecting with aunts and uncles, cousins and grandparents in addition to time with their friends by phone, messaging or video apps is important to maintain relationships and pass the time.
Making a Routine
Children will be experiencing anxiety due to a disruption in their routine and in reaction to the adults around them. Their anxiety cannot be scheduled. Expect disrupted bedtime routines, difficulty sleeping, nightmares and some aggression. These are stress responses. Do not add major behavioural plans or consequences. Allow yourself a time away from your routine for spending time with children. You may have to negotiate with them so you can schedule work time while the children play alone, and together-time with adults.
Children may not understand what they’re feeling but they may be asking for attention one way or another. Sitting with and cuddling can go a long way to alleviating short-term anxiety. Focus on an emotional connection. Play is cathartic for children. It is how they learn and understand the world and adapt to it. So, reading a book together or playing a board game or some cards is always a great way to connect. Routines and age-appropriate information should also help mitigate the anxiety children are experiencing.
Managing Conflict and Creating Alone Time
Help children identify a place they can go to when they want to be alone. It could be a cozy corner with blankets and cushions or a pillow fort with sheets and scarves. We all need our own space to be alone.
Free Online Resources
Be cyber safe. The links are not guaranteed to be secure. Whenever using online resources, remember to be safe with cyber security. Do not reveal personal information like names and dates of birth, addresses or passwords to anyone online.
Learning at Home:
- Scholastic Learn at Home – Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading
- PBS Kids Learn and Grow – Educational Activities for Kids
- Science Crash Course Kids Youtube Channel – Science for kids
- Imagination Tree Blog – Home Activities for Kids
- ABC Mouse – Math, science and art lessons Use code “AOFLUNICEF”
- Khan Academy – Online classes for all levels and ages
Games and Fun:
- LUNCH DOODLES with Mo Willems – Daily streaming from Mo Willems, children’s author
- National Geographic Kids – Learning games and videos for kids
- Playworks – online game library
- Mindful Schools – online mindfulness classes for kids, broadcast Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
- Google Arts and Culture – Online tours of famous museums