Ashley Gray, LCSW
Positive Behavior Specialist for Poplarville School District
CO-VID 19 has turned everyone’s lives upside down and brought with it a lot of big changes and adjustments. Many of these changes may be hard for children and teenagers to understand. They may bring about a lot of anxiety or fears. Here are a few tips to help you and your family handle the quarantine of CO VID 19.
- Be honest in talking about it with your children. It’s important to keep the discussions on an age-appropriate level, but it’s also important to be honest about the gravity of the situation.
- Encourage communication. It’s important that our children feel that they can talk to us about their feelings and fears about CO-VID. Don’t feel like you have to have all the answers. If you don’t know the answer, simply say that or something like “I don’t know the answer to that. Let’s work together to see if we can find it.”
- Limit social media and news. This is a big one. In a time of crisis, information sharing is in overdrive, and it may not always be accurate. Excessive exposure to social media will only increase anxiety and fear.
- Set a schedule or routine. Students are having to do school at home, and many parents are working from home. It’s important to have some sort of schedule and routine. It doesn’t have to be a strict schedule but keep it flexible to meet everyone’s needs. Include the basics: get dressed, eat breakfast, chores, and school work. It doesn’t have to be a full 8 hour school day but focus on completing a little bit of practice work each day. Don’t forget to schedule in “brain breaks” and fun times.
- Make a goal to move your body every day. Take a walk outside, ride bikes, go fishing, anything that will keep you active and moving. It’s still important to practice social distancing, but don’t let that stop you from moving!
- Practice gratitude. There’s always something to be thankful for, even if we have to look hard for it. Start a gratitude journal and each day write down 3-5 things you are thankful for. This could be a great family activity.
- Make memories. Use this time to spend it with your family and make new memories. Build a fort, bake cookies, have a movie night.
Remember, this will not last forever. It’s hard to think about that right now, but this quarantine will not last forever. Soon, it will pass, and we will be able to return to our normal routines.