Quarantine. Social distancing. COVID-19.
These words might sound confusing or overwhelming for children and may cause them fear and stress. In difficult times like this, kids need extra love, care, and attention.
Are you looking for ways to help your kids cope with COVID-19? Here are some tips, from OperationSAFE International:
1. Ask the kids how they feel
Ask, “How do you feel about our situation?”
Not every child can voice out what is going on in his or her head instantly. Ask how kids feel about the current situation and assure them that should they need someone to talk to, you’re always willing to listen. Listen closely to their concerns and respond in a supportive way.
2. Explain what’s happening in a way they can understand.
Ask, “What questions do you have?”
Speak calmly and provide clear information about what is happening. Try to explain in words kids can easily understand. Address their questions. It is also equally important to teach them about how they can reduce the risk of being infected by COVID-19.
3. Admit your concerns, but stress your ability to cope
Say, “Don’t worry. We’ll get through this together.”
As a parent, letting your children know how you feel about COVID-19 can help validate their feelings. Be truthful, yet calm; honest yet reassuring. Remind them that despite the situation, your family will get through this together.
4. Reassure them with a hug
Ask, “Can I give you a hug?”
Amid COVID-19, you are your child’s biggest supporter. Aside from lifting them up with encouraging words, giving them a warm embrace is another way to make them feel safe and loved. Your nurturing touch is like a blanket that covers them and makes them feel secure.
5. Spend extra time with them.
Ask, “What do you want to do today?”
Spending time with your kids is a good opportunity to model a positive disposition in the middle of this crisis. Playing, cooking, and doing chores together will surely help strengthen your bond with each other.
6. Re-establish your daily routine for school, play, meals, etc.
Say, “It’s okay. Things will be better soon.”
Whether it’s time for breakfast, exercise, play, or household chores, maintaining your children’s daily routine can help protect their physical and emotional well-being. It’s like telling them that things will get back to normal eventually.
7. Involve them and let them be a part of the recovery.
Ask, “Can we pray?”
Aside from reminding your children that medical frontliners are doing their best to fight the pandemic, allowing them to be a part of the recovery can help, too. Encourage them to write thank you letters for frontliners or help pack foods to be given away to neighbors who are in need. Most importantly, teaching them to pray for their family, for others, and for the country is one of the best ways to guide their spiritual journey.
As a parent, you might also feel challenged in taking care of your little ones because of your own worries and questions about the pandemic.
But you don’t have to fear for God is with you (Isaiah 41:10). Remember that you can always ask Him to help and equip you as you go through this season. He will protect you and give you the wisdom that you need to take good care of your loved ones.
As Psalm 32:8 says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”
Do you need someone to pray for you and your children right now? You may send your prayer requests to the CBN Asia Facebook page.